Both have perfect records – and in fact Celtic have won 16 in a row in the SPL with Neil Lennon at the helm. So something has to finally give and the value is with Rangers because the teams are so closely matched.
Celtic are a best 11-8 with Stan James because they’re at home but William Hill’s 5-2 on Rangers is a real tempter. The easy call would be a draw at 12-5 with Betfred but I’ve been impressed with Rangers’ displays in Europe and that suggests Walter Smith may be able to put one over rookie rival Neil Lennon.
Smith has stopped big guns Man United and Valencia this season – and beaten Bursaspor – so confidence will be sky high and every one of his starting 11 are likely to be experienced Old Firm campaigners.
Lee McCulloch will return to shore up the defence and there could be place for Kyle Lafferty at the expense of Vladimir Weiss.
Celtic, a biggest 11-8 at Stan James, were soundly dismissed by Braga and Utrecht to crash out two European tournaments so their ability to beat top opposition is open to question. On top of that players such as keeper Fraser Forster, defenders Efrain Juarez and Dan Majstorovic and striker Gary Hooper – all in key positions – will be making their Old Firm debuts.
Smith will again ask Kenny Miller to do the dirty work up front with support from the emerging Steven Naismith. Both missed glorious chances against Valencia but Miller has been explosive in the SPL and could make amends. He is 13-2 at Coral to score first with Naisy 11-1 with Bet365 and Betfred.
Celtic’s on-form striker Gary Hooper is a best 13-2 with Betfred and in a match bet he is 10-3 with McBookie.com who make Miller 7-2 and the tie 4-7.
In their first scorers (coupled) market William Hill go 12-5 Hooper or Miller, 3-1 Hooper or Naismith and 16-5 Miller or Naismith. For Hooper and Miller both to score at any time William Hill go 6-1 and Miller and Naismith pays 10-1.
Hooper was involved in a crazy incident last week when referee Dougie McDonald reversed his decision to award Celtic a penalty. McBookie.com go 50-1 on a repeat call by ref Willie Collum. And the Scots firm offer 5-1 Collum misses an incident that ends up before the SFA – just as he did with Allan McGregor’s kick at Aberdeen’s Chris Maguire.
You can have either side at 33-1 to win all four Old Firm clashes with William Hill.
- Rangers (5-2, William Hill)