Four talking points ahead of the first Old Firm game of the season

Rangers' Glen Kamara and Celtic's Scott Brown during a previous Old Firm clash.
Rangers' Glen Kamara and Celtic's Scott Brown during a previous Old Firm clash.
Share this article
Have your say

Andy Harrow looks at the main talking points ahead of Rangers' home clash with Celtic.

Can Morelos break his duck?

Alfredo Morelos has not scored in any of his nine appearances against Celtic so far. It's one of the more curious stats ahead of the first Old Firm game of the season.

The Colombian has had little trouble scoring against anyone else in Scotland but doubts have lingered - perhaps unfairly - over how effective he is against a higher standard of opposition: alongside his Celtic record, he only notched in one Europa League group stage game last season.

His late winner against Legia Warsaw in midweek goes someway to redress the balance in Europe but it still feels like he'll only truly silence the doubters if he can score against the champions and avoid his own personal 10-in-a-row.

Will the fans stick to the script?

There has been a public acceptance - from Rangers, as well from the club's supporters - that sectarian singing at Ibrox has got to stop.

The sanctions handed down by UEFA recently seemed to have acted as a wake-up call. If the behaviour isn't curbed, the consequences will be even more severe than a few empty seats in the corner of the stadium.

The visit of Celtic is a perfect opportunity to showcase this new-found understanding and will be a big test of how well the support can police themselves.

Are Celtic capable of shutting out the hosts?

Scoring goals hasn't been much of a problem for Neil Lennon's Celtic side since the start of the new season. The current Premiership champions have scored at least three goals on seven separate occasions and have notched an eye-watering 15 goals in their opening three league games.

The concern is the defence. It was the defence that cost Celtic their shot at the final qualifying round of the Champions League. It was the defence that let Dunfermline back into the League Cup tie. It is the defence that is filled with question marks. Is Boli Bolingoli good enough? Was Christopher Jullien worth the pricely outlay? Is Fraser Forster the first choice option between the sticks? And against a Rangers attack also in impressive goal-scoring form, can they hold back the tide?

Winner will lay down a marker

Rangers go into this weekend's game in the unusual position of being favourites. Since the resumption of hostilities in 2015, they've been the underdog in most, if not all, of the clashes between the two.

But an impressive start to the season, coupled with the two dominant performances against Celtic at Ibrox last season, have meant Steven Gerrard's men are heavily tipped to draw first blood this campaign.

Over the past 8-and-a-bit years, Celtic have played like champions. They have picked up results when they've needed to and, in the league, they've answered any questions asked of them. Tomorrow, the question being asked is whether Rangers are the genuine contenders they appear to be. We'll know come the conclusion of tomorrow afternoon's match.