Kick Off:- 12:30 GMT, Sunday 24 April 2011
Ibrox Park, Glasgow
So the 7th and final Old Firm game of the season is upon us. Of the six games played, Celtic have won 3, Rangers have won 2, and 1 has been drawn. Of the six games played, 3 have been in the cups and three have been in the league – 2 wins for Celtic and 1 for Rangers.
Rangers recent record could hardly be better as they head into this game – 5 wins out of 5, including what looks like a bit of a thrashing for Dundee United last time out. However, looks can be deceiving and stats can be misleading…
Dundee United had 3 men sent off and conceded 3 penalties (Rangers scored 2 and missed one) in that fixture in midweek and the 4 games leading up to that one were very unconvincing and laboured victories indeed.
Celtic have an equally impressive-looking last 5 although they too struggled for their victories over Hibs, St Mirren, and St Johnstone. They did look much more like the thing against Aberdeen and Kilmarnock.
Rangers’ last 5 game record reads…
[Rangers’ score first]
19 April Away 4-0 vs Dundee United (SPL)
16 April Home 2-1 vs St Mirren (SPL)
13 April Away 1-0 vs Aberdeen (SPL)
10 April Away 1-0 vs Hamilton Academicals (SPL)
5 April Away 2-0 vs St Johnstone (SPL)
Celtic’s last 5 game record reads…
[Celtic’s score first]
20 April Away 4-0 vs Kilmarnock (SPL)
17 April Hampden 4-0 vs Aberdeen (Scottish Cup)
12 April Away 1-0 vs St Johnstone (SPL)
9 April Home 1-0 vs St Mirren (SPL)
6 April Home 3-1 vs Hibernian (SPL)
As usual, the cry in the land is – “this is the title decider!!!” but of course it isn’t. The SPL have arranged this fixture as the first after the split to make sure it isn’t a title decider. There are still plenty of points to play for, and as the table shows, with only 1 point between the teams, losing this game needn’t be terminal.
The Scottish Premier League Table As On April 21, 2011 looks like this:
Team P W D L Pts F A
1 Rangers 33 26 2 5 80 72 28
2 Celtic 32 25 4 3 79 70 18
Let’s examine the scenarios left open after this game, and for simplicity’s sake, let’s assume that Celtic have already won their game in hand…
Scenario 1 — Celtic win the game.
Celtic would go 5 points clear of Rangers with 4 to play. A very, very strong position to be in, and one it is very difficult to see Rangers overturning. Celtic would surely go on to take the title.
Scenario 2 — Rangers win the game.
Rangers would go 1 point clear of Celtic with 4 to play. Not nearly as strong a position, but one the Rangers camp would most certainly take. Still all to play for and impossible to predict who will ultimately triumph.
Scenario 3 – The game is drawn.
Should the game be drawn, Celtic would be 2 points clear with 4 to play. Not as strong a position as Scenario 1, but quite a bit stronger than Scenario 2. Still all to play for and impossible to predict who will ultimately triumph.
Of course all this is ifs and buts – Celtic haven’t yet won their game in hand, and we haven’t taken goal difference into account.
So what do we think will happen on Sunday? Will it be a Celtic win? A Rangers win? A draw?
It will be a Celtic win. And they will go on to take the title.
About the Author (Author Profile)
An insurance professional based in Edinburgh, Scotland, David Macleod is our local expert on Scottish Football. David is an avid footie fan, and is happiest crunching numbers to help write his Bettng on The Football page…