Hello there and welcome to our live coverage of Rangers vs Celtic, a traditionally friendly affair played at a relaxing tempo. Joking aside, the absence of fans from Ibrox might have an impact on how this game is played, reducing the number of ‘let him know you’re there’ tackles and the frantic pace we often see in this matches, but there is so much riding on the result that it’ll most likely be minimal.
This game will tell us a lot. Are Rangers genuinely that much better than Celtic? Or have the champions just been going through a really bad few weeks? Can Neil Lennon find a way to cause Steven Gerrard’s side problems, especially when nobody seems sure what the best Celtic XI is and Rangers never concede goals? Defence has been their massive strong point this season, with an organised, settled back line only conceding five goals in 21 matches. It’s an incredibly impressive record. This is what Gerrard has had to say about today’s match:
“I’d be very happy with the three points but I would remain balanced and humble with my feet on the ground. It’s January, there are many tough challenges ahead and hurdles we need to get over, so whatever the result is we will move forward in the best possible way. We obviously want to do all we can to try and take this opportunity.
“We want to stretch our lead, of course we do, but if we manage to do that then certainly no one will be getting carried away.
“I think if you are not looking forward to this fixture as a player, with how the season has gone so far, then you have got a major, major problem. Myself, the staff, the players, as soon as St Mirren was done, it was straight onto the focus on Celtic.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for us to go and put on a performance and try and stretch our lead. That is where we are at and we want to try and grab that with both hands.
“If you have got one per cent of you that is not looking forward to this fixture, you are at the wrong football club and you are working under the wrong manager. We are preparing ourselves for a tough game, a big challenge, we are playing against a good team.”
Kick off is at 12:30, you can watch the game live on Sky Sports, and you can read live updates and analysis throughout here in this blog.