Rangers v Celtic: Scottish Premiership – live | Scottish Premiership
A day of remembrance at Ibrox
Before kick-off, there will be a minute’s silence to remember the 66 victims of the Ibrox disaster that took place on this day in 1971. There will also be tributes to the late Pelé, as well as to Celtic legend Frank McGarvey, who passed away yesterday.
These teams: Alistair Johnston starts for Celtic after his transfer to the club last month was ratified by the opening of the transfer window. Midfielder Aaron Mooy makes way for James Forrest and Liel Abada, who scored twice against Rangers in September, is a somewhat surprising omission from Celtic’s starting line-up. He has to settle for a place on the bench.
Rangers boss Mick Beale is also making two changes from the side that beat Motherwell last Wednesday. Glen Kamara and Fashionm Sakala enter midfield in place of Alex Lowry and Ryan Jack. Alfredo Morelos starts in front, while Antonio Colak is on the bench.
Rangers vs Celtic rosters
Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Davies, Barisic, Kamara, Lundstram, Tillman, Kent, Sakala, Morelos.
Subtitles: McLaughlin, Jack, Colak, Sands, Wright, Roofe, Arfield, King, Devine.
Celtic: Hart, Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Taylor, McGregor, Hatate, O’Riley, Forrest, Maeda, Kyogo.
Subtitles: Bain, Giakoumakis, Abada, Mooy, Jota, Kobayashi, Bernabei, Abildgaard, Juranovic.
Arbitrator: John Beaton
First news from the team
Rangers defenders John Souttar and Filip Helander remain out long-term, while midfielders Steven Davis and Ianis Hagi are also sidelined indefinitely. Up front, Alfredo Morelos is expected to be fit despite his side’s recent win over Motherwell due to a hamstring issue, but could make way for Antonio Kolak, who is back from injury. Kemar Roofe is also back in full form and could feature on the bench.
In the absence of injured right-back Andrew Ralston, Canada international Alistair Johnston is set to make his Celtic debut after signing with Montreal Imp, but the Hoops are without suspended midfielder David Turnball and the injured winger Sead Haksabanovic.
VAR: Introduced to the Scottish Premiership in October to help referees make fewer mistakes and hopefully put an end to the often ludicrous conspiracy theories concocted by more paranoid fans of Scotland’s two biggest teams, it goes without saying that referees video assistants did nothing nice. Indeed, on the contrary, they have only poured more oil on the conspiratorial fires.
For all the good it will do, ahead of today’s match, Ange Postecoglou called on the match officials to make sure the VAR delays don’t disrupt the marquee game. Ewan Murray reports…
Scottish Premiership: Rangers v Celtic
With Celtic already nine points clear in the otish title race, Rangers are desperate for a win in the first Old Firm game of the new year. The two teams meet at Ibrox this afternoon, with Michael Beale taking charge of Rangers in his first Glasgow derby after orchestrating four wins from four since taking charge a month ago.
They will need a much better performance than September’s weak effort at Celtic Park when Ange Postecoglou’s side went wild, beating the visitors by four unanswered goals. Celtic come into today’s game on the back of 12 consecutive league wins and have dropped just three points this season, the only blemish on their book a 2-0 defeat at St Mirren in September. Another win today will surely end any dim hopes their city rivals might have of bringing them back. Kick-off at Ibrox is at 12:30 p.m., but stay tuned in the meantime for team news and the build-up.