After losing three of their first four games, Rangers have started to regain form with three wins and a draw in their last four games in all competitions, while Celtic have won six of their last seven games in all competitions. after leaving the Champions League qualifying stages. in Midtjylland at the end of July.
Both sides are six points away from their first three Scottish Premiership games and will desperately look to get a leg up on their rivals ahead of the international break, but the form of this game rests firmly on the hosts.
Rangers have won four of their last five league meetings with Celtic, as many as they had in their previous 20 clashes, while Celtic have lost four of their last five league visits to Rangers, including both trips last season.
The champions’ preparations for the Ibrox showdown have been hampered after manager Steven Gerrard and six players were forced to self-isolate following an unknown number of positive tests at the club. It’s unclear if Gerrard will be in the dugout for Sunday’s game.
Rangers assistant manager Gary McAllister said: “This is a huge game and a game that every player would love to play, whether you’ve played with the Old Firm or are watching from the outside – it draws the imagination.
“The intensity of the game and the rise of the game are important. We have a group of players here looking forward to it because it is a game for great players to produce moments. “
The game will be Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou’s first taste of an Old Firm clash and he has warned his players to expect a “big test” regardless of Rangers’ field.
“If you start to think it’s going to be some kind of an easier game because of the disruptions they’ve had or the disruptions that we might have, you’ve fallen into a false trap,” he said.
“What we do know is that whatever the lineup on Sunday he will be a formidable opponent. One thing we will never do is disrespect an opponent regardless of the preparation for a game, especially a big game. “
Rangers could be well changed for Sunday’s clash with Celtic after a Covid-19 outbreak affected their plans for the midweek draw with Alashkert.
Allan McGregor, Jon McLaughlin, James Tavernier, Scott Wright, Calvin Bassey and Ryan Kent have missed the Europa League play-offs, although it is not clear who was positive, injured or considered close contact.
It remains to be seen who will return, but Kemar Roofe and John Lundstram are returning from suspension.
Celtic I hope Greg Taylor and Kyogo Furuhashi recover from the injuries that forced them to face AZ Alkmaar.
At least one of James McCarthy and James Forrest should be available after missing the trip to Holland.
Former Legia Warsaw right-back Josip Juranovic could make his debut, but Christopher Jullien (knee), Mikey Johnston (hamstrings) and Karamoko Dembele (ankle) remain absent.
How to follow
Rangers vs Celtic is live Sky Sports Football et Main Event from 11 am on Sunday; kick off at 12 noon. Air sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Air sports website and app. The highlights of the free matches will be posted on the Air sports website, app and Sky Sports Football Youtube channel at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Choose your combined XI
Rangers face Celtic in the Old Firm opener of the season on Sunday, but who on either side would make your combined eleven?
Less than a month into the Scottish Premiership season and fans already have an Old Firm clash to look forward to on Sunday.
The final round of games before the campaign’s first international break sees Celtic make the short trip through Glasgow to the Rangers, where a fiery atmosphere awaits them at Ibrox.
Ahead of this huge clash, WhoScored.com takes a look at four key battles that could prove to be decisive when those two horns lock again …
Players to watch
For the first time in 610 days, Rangers and Celtic will face off in front of a crowded stadium – but which team will keep their cool in the first Old Firm game of the season?
Both teams have changed a lot since the last time the Glasgow giants collided in front of fans as Steven Gerrard’s side won 2-1 at Celtic Park in December 2019.
The Rangers haven’t lost in that game since, but are likely to face their toughest test yet with several key players expected to miss in the wake of a Covid-19 outbreak.
Across Glasgow, the Postecoglou era is well underway at Parkhead with several impressive summer signings from the Australian as Celtic recovered from a defeat at Hearts on Matchday 1 with 6-0 consecutive league wins .
So who will emerge victorious this Sunday? Well, we asked former Scotland international James McFadden to pick the players he believes will be essential for each team if they are to win the first Old Firm game of the season …