If familiarity breeds contempt then Celtic and Rangers must feel like a couple of ageing lags who have shared a cell for 40 years and fly into a rage at every irritating mannerism.

Today’s lunchtime meeting at Ibrox is the third time these sides have faced off in under three months but it feels like we’ve had an Old Firm derby every week when you throw in SWPL clashes, Youth Cup Finals and matches between the B teams.

Plenty has been at stake in all those games but it’s a different story today after the Hoops wrapped up the Premiership title with a win at Tynecastle last weekend.

There’s no such thing as a meaningless Old Firm derby though and the atmosphere won’t be any less rancorous inside Ibrox with 50,000 Gers fans desperate to cheer a first win over their rivals in over a year.

Even though there’s only pride at stake, I can see this being a fiery game as players settle some scores from previous derbies.

There hasn’t been a red card in this fixture since Ange Postecoglou took charge at Parkhead and that suggests we’re due one.

McBookie price a sending-off at 12/5 and the same firm also offer 11/5 on a penalty being awarded.

Those odds are quite tempting but there’s better value in backing certain players to fall foul of the ref.

Yuki Kobayashi will be making his derby debut and the Japanese stopper looked a bit shaky against Hearts last weekend.

It will be interesting to see how he copes with an Ibrox bear pit and he’s 11/2 at SkyBet for a card which looks overpriced.

In the blue corner, Connor Goldson is usually decent value for a card, although he somehow avoided one after trying out some Greco-Roman wrestling moves on Aberdeen striker Duk at Ibrox

last weekend. Goldson is 11/4 with Skybet to pick up his ninth card of the season.

The games that really matter today come in the bottom half of the table, with Ross County heading to Dundee United looking to jump above Jim Goodwin’s side.

After three wins in a row, United were poor as they lost in Perth last week, although a red card to Charlie Mulgrew didn’t help.

The Staggies romped to a 4-0 win in Dingwall when these sides last met but lost 3-0 at Tannadice back in December.

That makes it a tricky one to call so I’m on the half-time draw at 11/10 with McBookie.

Kilmarnock sit between United and County in the relegation play-off slot and it’s mainly due to their dismal away form.

But three of their last four fixtures are at Rugby Park and they will fancy their chances at home to a Livingston side who lost to the Staggies last weekend.

Killie are a best 21/20 at Ladbrokes for a massive three points but I’m more drawn to the 13/10 on offer at McBookie for either side to win by a one-goal margin.

St Johnstone moved five points clear of danger with that win over United and can pretty much secure safety if they follow it up with another home win over Motherwell.

The only problem is the Steelmen are in fantastic form and Kevin van Veen is scoring for fun. The wisest bet here could be BTTS and it pays 10/11 at Bet365.

Back at the other end of the table, Hibs will need a win at Pittodrie today if they’re to stand any chance of catching Aberdeen in the race to finish third.

That makes over 2.5 goals worth a look at 10/11 with Bet365 but there’s better value in the scorer markets, with Dons ace Bojan Miovski 8/5 at William Hill.

Hearts travel to Paisley and there’s a case for moving kick-off until after the watershed with Alex Gogic and Cammy Devlin squaring up in midfield. The Aussie is 7/4 for a card at McBookie with St Mirren’s Gogic priced 8/5.

Super singles
Yuki Kobayahsi to be carded
(11/2, SkyBet)
Half-time draw at Tannadice
(11/10, McBookie).
Bojan Miovski anytime scorer
(8/5, William Hill).
One-goal winning margin at
Rugby Park (13/10, McBookie)


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