'Devastating' - BT Sport commentator predicts Rangers v Celtic
By James Black
Rangers won’t be able to cope with Celtic’s “devastating” attack in this weekend’s Old Firm clash at Ibrox, according to BT Sport’s Scottish football commentator Rory Hamilton.
The Glasgow sides go head-to-head at Saturday lunchtime as the Bhoys look to extend their lead over the Gers to eight points after only seven games in the Scottish Premiership season.
According to STV, Rangers are certain to go into the game missing 94-times capped Portugal defender Bruno Alves who faces weeks on the sidelines with a calf injury picked up in the midweek win over Partick Thistle.
It is reported that teenage defender Ross McCrorie is to replace Alves after only making his debut for the Gers on Tuesday night in the League Cup win at Partick.
The Hoops scored 16 times against Pedro Caixinha’s side in six Old Firm games last season – including two 5-1 wins – and Hamilton believes the Celtic forward line will be too strong for Rangers once more this term.
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“There should be goals in this one, but I don’t think Rangers have the quality at the back to cope with Celtic’s devastating firepower,” Hamilton wrote in his predictions for BT Sport’s website.
“Scott Sinclair bagged his ninth goal of the season in the 4-0 Betfred Cup quarter-final success at Dundee on Wednesday night and has a great understanding with Manchester City loanee Patrick Roberts.”
Hamilton has predicted that Celtic will win 3-1 and believes Moussa Dembele’s return from injury couldn’t come at a better time for the champions.
He added: “Leigh Griffiths is always a threat and Moussa Dembele, who scored five times in his first three derbies, could now return to the starting line-up from injury at just the right time.”
Brendan Rodgers’ side have won both of their last two games 4-0 and are strong favourites to continue their 56-game unbeaten run in domestic competitions.
Rangers last beat their bitter rivals in April 2015 when they triumphed on penalties in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden.
Since taking charge in March, Caixinha has lost both Old Firm games he has been involved in, although he was present when Graeme Murty took charge of the team in a 1-1 draw at Celtic Park.
In other Rangers team news, a bizarre admission from Ibrox has played right into Celtic’s hands ahead of the Old Firm.