26-year-old is in trouble: Three things to expect from Celtic in clash v Rangers
By Matt Farr
The Old Firm derby returns for the fourth time this season, as in-form Celtic look to continue their unbeaten record at the expense of their Glasgow rivals Rangers on Sunday.
Celtic are unbeaten in an incredible 34 domestic games, and have won 22 league games on the bounce. Meanwhile, they currently hold a 33-point lead over Rangers in the table, with the Ibrox outfit sitting in third.
Previous meetings between the two sides have often been hard to predict, but the recent dominance Celtic have had over Rangers suggest that the upcoming tie may see a relatively straightforward win for the home side.
Here are three things we expect from Celtic at Parkhead on Sunday.
26-year-old is in trouble
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The partnership between Dembele and Scott Sinclair has been a fruitful one this season, with the pair contributing 50 goals and 17 assists between them. The duo provide one of Celtic’s main attacking outlets, and 26-year-old Rangers right-back James Tavernier will be in for an extremely tough afternoon. He has been caught out of position on the counter on a number of occasions this season, and if Celtic break with the Rangers full-back stuck upfield, expect Sinclair and Dembele to take full advantage. Sinclair has proven too hot to handle for many players this season, and Tavernier will have to be at the top of his game to silence him.
Rodgers to add to Rangers pain
Brendan Rodgers and Celtic certainly won’t be doing their great rivals any favours. The gap between the two sides has reached record heights this season, but Celtic are not going to pass up the opportunity to extend it even further. They may take some element of caution into the game, but the Hoops will want to press home their authority and pile even further misery on Rangers before they turn over a new leaf under new head coach, Pedro Caixinha. Rangers are in a dark place at the moment, while Celtic are revelling in their success; and it will take some job for caretaker boss Graeme Murty to inspire his side to an unlikely victory on Sunday.
Moussa Dembele to score a brace
Dembele enjoys facing Rangers. He’s only done so three times in his Celtic career, but that has not stopped him from putting five goals past them. He netted a superb hat-trick in his very first Old Firm derby during a 5-1 rout back in September, before adding goals in each of his last two meetings with Rangers. But the difference between now and September is that the 20-year-old is in even better form. Few of Celtic’s opponents have found an answer to Dembele’s goalscoring threat, which has seen him score an incredible 32 goals this season. He also has eight goals in only his last four league appearances, and he is expected to continue his impressive run against a poor Rangers defence. The Celtic hitman also likes dealing in doubles, having netted two goals in a game on five occasions, as well as three hat-tricks. He never passes up an opportunity to score, and if he grabs one goal against Rangers, he is likely to grab another.
- Football Insider prediction – Celtic 3-1 Rangers
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