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***PreMatch Analysis*** Celtic versus Rangers

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Celtic versus Rangers at Parkhead on Sunday October 24, 2010. Kick-off 12:45 pm.

Rangers and Celtic are tied at the top of the SPL with a maximum of 24 points from 8 games. Rangers have a superior goal difference of +15 to Celtic's +14. It could not be tighter in the race for the SPL title.

Rangers are coming off a great tussle with Valencia - a 1-1 draw - on Wednesday night and have had less time to prepare for this game, but the players are on a high after good CL performances against some excellent teams.

I think that Rangers CL experience and their tight knit squad will give them the edge. Furthermore I believe the fact that more of their players have Old Firm experience will also help. This is not to underestimate a Celtic team who have a 100% record in the SPL under Neil Lennon. I just think that Rangers will have an edge.

Walter Smith must decide on a number of things. Will he play a CL formation or his standard SPL formation? Will Broadfoot and McCulloch both play after being out injured? Will Weiss and Foster retain their places?

I believe Walter will play a CL type formation but I think Lafferty will replace Weiss. Broadfoot and/or Foster may play too, but I am not sure of that.

If we have a weakness in defence it is fullbacks allowing crosses to come over. Whittaker in particular has been guilty of that as he was against Motherwell.

My guess is the team may well be McGregor, Whittaker/Foster, Bougherra, Weir, Papac, Broadfoot, Naismith, Davis, McCulloch, Edu/Lafferty, Miller.

If Walter goes with a normal 4-4-2 then Papac will move to LB and one of the fullbacks will be on the bench. Lafferty will start with Miller up front and Weiss may come into midfield. The team would then be McGregor, Whittaker/Foster, Bougherra, Weir, Papac, Naismith, Davis, McCulloch, Edu/Weiss, Lafferty and Miller.

This should be a great game and not one for the fainthearted. I expect a lot of drama and perhaps at least 1 red card and a penalty.

In the end I believe Rangers will triumph by the odd goal. My prediction is Celtic 1-2 Rangers.

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