Thursday, May 13
Collect News Data
Apr 18, 2021 at 3pm UK
Davis (10'), Kenny (34' og.)
Aribo (74'), Barisic (85'), Kent (90+1')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Brown (47')

Preview: Rangers vs. Celtic - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Rangers vs. Celtic - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Scottish Cup clash between Rangers and Celtic, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

For the fourth time this campaign, Old Firm rivals Rangers and Celtic face each other on Sunday afternoon, with both sides looking to progress from the fourth round of the Scottish Cup.

The hosts have not won the competition since 2009, while the Hoops are hoping to lift the trophy for the fifth successive season.

Match preview

Rangers maintained their 100% home record in the Scottish Premiership with a narrow 2-1 victory over Hibernian last weekend.

The Gers were in control for the majority of the match, with goals from Joe Aribo and Ryan Kent giving Steven Gerrard's side a two-goal lead, before Kevin Nisbet pulled one back 12 minutes from time.

Rangers were able to hold on for their 17th victory at Ibrox and still remain unbeaten in the top-flight with just four league matches left to play.

Following that victory, UEFA announced this week that Slavia Prague's Ondrej Kudela has been banned for 10 matches after being found guilty of racist behaviour towards Glen Kamara in the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie in March. Rangers have since responded stating that "this not only vindicates Kamara's evidence but underlines the severity of the comment".

Rangers now turn their attention to the Old Firm derby as they look to lift their second piece of silverware this season.

The Gers are unbeaten in ther last four meetings with the Hoops, including all three encounters this term, and a victory on Sunday would see them eliminate their great rivals in a Scottish Cup tie before the semi-final stage for the first time since 1964.

Celtic claimed their biggest win of the season after thrashing Livingston 6-0 at Parkhead last weekend.

A brace from Mohamed Elyounoussi, as well as strikes from James Forrest, David Turnbull, Ryan Christie and a Jack Fitzwater own goal, helped the Hoops cruise to victory, one that sets John Kennedy's side up perfectly for the trip to Ibrox this weekend.

With nothing to play for in the Scottish Premiership, Celtic's only hope of silverware this campaign is success in the Scottish Cup, a competition they have dominated for the last four years.

The Hoops – who have lifted the Scottish's Cup 40 times in their history, seven times more than Rangers – have eliminated the Gers in two of the last four seasons, both at the semi-final stage.

This year, they have struggled to overcome their arch rivals, losing twice and drawing their most recent clash 1-1 four weeks ago.

Including their upcoming league clash on May 2, Celtic have two more attempts to beat Rangers this season, but suffering another defeat on Sunday would see them eliminated from the competition as early as the fourth round for the first time since the 2005-06 season.

Rangers Scottish Cup form:
  • W

Rangers form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W

Celtic Scottish Cup form:
  • W

Celtic form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

Rangers and Scotland midfielder Ryan Jack has been ruled out for the rest of the season and will miss Euro 2020 after being told by a specialist that he requires surgery on a calf problem.

Skipper James Tavernier, who has been out since February with a knee injury, could be in contention to face Celtic, but Gerrard insists that he 'will not be rushed back' into the fold.

Defender Leon Balogun, who extended his contract until 2022 this week, is doubtful after picking up an ankle knock in training.

Nathan Patterson is likely to start at right-back if both Tavernier and Balogun are not deemed fit to play.

Steven Davis and Kamara, who have started all three previous meetings with Celtic this season, are set to keep their places in midfield alongside either Aribo or Scott Arfield.

For Celtic, Kennedy is set to name a strong starting lineup this weekend, as the Scottish Cup is their last chance to claim silverware this season.

Centre-back Christopher Jullien remains out with a knee injury, while midfielder Nir Bitton is now available for selection after suffering with a groin problem.

Winger Forrest has started and scored in each of the last two matches and is expected to keep his place in the first XI.

Elyounoussi – who has scored four goals in his last three games for the Hoops, including a strike against Rangers last month – could start on the left flank, with either Odsonne Edouard or Leigh Griffiths is set to play up front.

Rangers possible starting lineup:
McGregor; Patterson, Goldson, Helander, Baricic; Kamara, Davis, Aribo; Hagi, Morelos, Kent

Celtic possible starting lineup:
Bain; Kenny, Welsh, Ajer, Laxalt; McGregor, Brown, Turnbull; Forrest, Edouard, Elyounoussi

We say: Rangers 2-1 Celtic

Kennedy and his Celtic side can take belief to Ibrox after a convincing victory last weekend, but Rangers themselves are not short of confidence having lost only two of their 46 matches in all competitions so far this term.

Sunday's clash is set to be another closely-fought contest, one that could even go to extra time, but we feel that the newly-crowned Scottish Premiership champions will just edge it.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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