DERBY matches don’t always run to form – but the Old Firm clash looks nailed-on for Rangers to claim the bragging rights.
Walter Smith's side should be too strong for injury-hit Celtic and everything points to the Ibrox side returning to the top of the table – and staying there.
Neil Lennon guided his men to the summit by beating Motherwell last midweek but that win came at a cost with skipper Scott Brown picking up a red that sidelines him against Rangers.
The arrival of experienced Swede Freddie Ljungberg could help but is outweighed by the absence of the likes of Gary Hooper, Shaun Maloney and South Koreans Ki and Cha who have headed to the Asian Cup.
Rangers, on the other hand, boast bags of experience in the shape of Allan McGregor, Davie Weir, Steve Davis … and Kenny Miller. The SPL’s top scorer has netted five in his last four Old Firm outings including two in the 3-1 win at Parkhead in October. Miller is 6-5 with bet365 to net at any time, 4-1 at Paddy Power and bet365 to score first and 4-1 (Hills) for two or more. To score first in a Rangers win pays 11-2 with Hills and I fancy Walter Smith’s men at a best 11-10 at Ladbrokes.
Celtic are 3-1 with Chandler while the draw pays a biggest 5-2 with the same firm. Rangers are highly fancied and if you think they’ll win well consider minus one at 11-4 with bet365 while Celts are 8-11 (Paddy Power) plus one.
Ljungberg is 6-1 with Hills to net at any time and 16-1 to break the deadlock. The Swede is 11-1 to score in a Celtic win and 28-1 to score first in an away victory but looks likely to be on the bench. He is 3-1 with bet365 to be booked and 50-1 to see red.
Lee McCulloch is 2-1 with Hills to be first to tackle Ljungberg with Madjid Bougherra and Sasa Papac 9-2 and Weir 11-2.
Any Rangers star to be booked for a foul on Freddie is 5-2. A red card in the match is a hot topic affair the Steve Jennings betting probe and you can have 15-8 with Betfred. For a Rangers red Hills offer 5-1, Celtic 7-2. Skipper Dan Majstorovic is 8-1 with Hills to pick up the first card ahead of 9-1 Anthony Stokes and Mark Wilson.
For a long shot try Weir at 20-1. Bet365 go 1-2 for no reds, 9-4 for one and 12-1 two or more. No penalties pays 4-11, one is 9-4 and two or more 12-1.
The other SPL game today sees Inverness travel to St Johnstone trying to extend their amazing away record. Terry Butcher's men went through the whole of 2010 without losing on their travels and should start with a win in Perth.
Two home defeats to St Mirren and Killie have taken the shine off Caley Thistle's superb campaign so far but away from the Highlands they have won five and drawn four – including taking points at Ibrox, Celtic Park and Tynecastle.
Saints have played four in a row away from home but before that lost 2-0 to Hearts at McDiarmid. Boss Derek McInnes needs to find more goals from his team and Inverness should take advantage by picking up all three points. They are a best 15-8 with William Hill.
There was meant to be a full card in the SFL but many games have already bitten the dust so check latest news before having a bet. One side who didn't want to play is Stirling Albion but their plea for a call-off fell on deaf ears despite being left with just six fit outfield players. They are trawling all sources for players to turn out at Falkirk today but you've got to imagine the second-bottom side will struggle whoever they put out.
Falkirk are 2-5 with Paddy Power but that is unlikely to last. Dundee are eight points adrift of Stirling after being deducted 25 points but they have high hopes of avoiding the drop. The Dens men have won five in a row and should add a sixth at home to Ross County. They are 8-11 with Stan James and William Hill among others.