IT'S the game we've all been waiting for north of the border – and it could go either way.
At the start of the season I tipped Rangers to run Celtic close in the title race and it's set to go to the wire.
There's no doubt Steven Gerrard's side are much improved and they've won tight games against Killie and St Mirren where a year ago they'd have dropped points.
Rangers' better standing is reflected by bookies making them favourites for the first time since I was in short trousers.
I'd planned to tip a Gers Old Firm win for the first time in ages but now I'm sitting on the fence and backing a draw at 12-5 with BetVictor. I reckon you can rule out a 0-0 so consider a scoring draw at 15-4 with bet365.
Some people have said whoever wins the most derbies this season will lift the title but that's not always the case.
However, Gers will see the importance of an early title lead and having beaten Celtic twice last season will be confident of another success.
I don't think Rangers will lose and you can back them draw no bet at 3-4 with McBookie. Again the home side benefits from a reduced away support of 800 – in three games since this was introduced in Old Firm derbies the home side has won.
Both sides could suffer from Thursday's exploits although they will be in good frames of mind after reaching the Europa League group stage.
Don't see it being a low scorer despite two out of three at Ibrox going under 2.5 goals but remember Celtic didn't score there last season – losing 1-0 and 2-0. Rangers to win to nil is 7-2 at bet365.
Before Celtic's 4-1 win at AIK Neil Lennon said his players didn't know how to park the bus and that was evident as they suffered a few bombscares before running out easy winners. Boli Bolingoli doesn't look ready and if Kris Ajer is out that will be a blow.
In attack Celtic are much better and Rangers have been pretty deadly in front of goal so take a chance on over 3.5 at 29-10 with Unibet.
Bobby Madden is the man in the middle for his fourth Old Firm game in three seasons. He's flashed 17 yellows and three reds – all to Rangers – in those matches.
Last season he sent off Alfredo Morelos and Andy Halliday in a 2-1 Celtic and this season averages three bookings a game.
This could be a fiery affair as both sides go out to put down a marker and the usual candidates will be backed for a card – Allan McGregor, Morelos, Ryan Jack and Scott Brown.
Broonie is 37-40 at BetVictor to be carded with Morelos 23-20 and to be red carded both are 16-1 with Jack 33s.
Consider between 45-65 booking points at 2-1 with Sky Bet while a sending off pays 9-4 at bet365.
Morelos is of course hunting his first Old Firm goal and is 9-5 at Unibet to get it after being the Euro hero against Legia Warsaw.
Not easy picking a first scorer but Jack's been in form and will be up for it – could be worth a look at 20-1 with McBookie as I expect Rangers to be quickly out of the blocks.
James Forrest has been the man for the big occasion but has never scored at Ibrox and is 9-1 with bet365 to break the deadlock after hitting the first against AIK.
- Draw & Btts
- Rangers 2, Celtic 2
- Over 3.5 Goals
- Brown to be booked
- Morelos to be booked
- Red card in match