It’s been a hard road back for Rangers and a total of 10 years since they last lifted the SPL trophy, but Steven Gerrard has led his side to a title that is over with six games to spare. But does not tell half the story. Since that 2010-11 title, Rangers have been down to the depths of Scottish League Two having been liquidated in 2012. Rangers bounced back with league titles in 2013 and 2014, but it took two attempts to win the Scottish Championship before their journey back to Scotland’s top tier was complete in 2016.
It was always going to be a tall order to get back on terms with their arch-rivals and fellow-Scottish powerhouses, Celtic. The Green side of Glasgow had relished in their foes demise and they had taken the SPL title for the last nine seasons, with Brendan Rodgers steering The Bhoys for the majority of a historic period that saw them win the domestic treble, four years in a row, which came to be known as the Quadruple Treble.
Gerrard setting an example for The Gers
Step forward Steven Gerrard who took over the reins at Rangers in the summer of 2018 after they had finished in third place. In less than three years Gerrard has transformed The Gers and helped them get their hands on the SPL trophy once more at the expense of their bitter rivals, in a season where they were actually aiming for their tenth title in a row.
This adds to what is already an extremely deep-rooted rivalry. Many football media outlets name the Old Firm as the third biggest rivalry in World football and to many, it might just be bigger than that. This weekend’s fixture might not be the most significant in terms of the importance of three points, but it is hugely anticipated as tradition states that Celtic will have to give their nemesis a guard of honor as they walk out onto the Celtic Park pitch.
Will they uphold the tradition? Who knows, but it will certainly be worth tuning in for.
Celtic looking to halt record-hunting Rangers
Rangers will still be looking to beat Celtic’s record league title points margin of 29 as well as going the entire season undefeated. The Gers are likely to be encouraged from their 0-2 victory at Celtic Park earlier in the season and they boast an incredible defensive record that has seen them concede just 9 goals in 32 matches so far. Celtic won’t need reminding that their reputation is on the line here.
Their fans won’t settle for anything other than three points, so they can at least have the last bragging rights in the derby and end the incredible unbeaten run of their rival. With emotions running high in what has been a landmark season, it is anticipated to be a fiercely contested Old Firm derby, which is certainly saying something.
Europa sorrow to fuel a winning performance for Rangers
Rangers will be suffering from some level of fatigue having hosted Slavia Prague in the Europa League on Thursday night. The bitter disappointment of being knocked out of the cup should give them an extra bite as they head into the derby this weekend.
We’re backing Rangers to do the business as a closely fought contest. Alfredo Morelos is never far away from the action and at 5/1 with Bet 365 as the first-time scorer, he is certainly someone that punters should be looking at this weekend.
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