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Scottish Football: Old Firm clash with top spot on the line

Celtic can jump a point clear of rivals Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership if they win Wednesday's huge Old Firm derby at Parkhead.

Games between the two Glasgow foes are always highly-anticipated, but with the title race so finely balanced this clash has taken on even greater significance, with the Bhoys 5/6 to be crowned champions and the Gers available at 5/6.

Depending on how it plays out, it may even be one day talked about in the same way as some of the most memorable showdowns between the two bitter rivals.

Rangers go into the game two points clear at the top and the reigning champions are 13/5 to win to extend that advantage to five points, while the Bhoys are 23/20 for victory and the draw is 9/4.

Rangers have enjoyed the better of things in their recent meetings and you have to go back to December 2019 for a Celtic win in all competitions against the Light Blues, with the Gers winning six of the last seven games, including the only meeting so far this season, a 1-0 success back in August.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst could hand Wales star Aaron Ramsey his Rangers debut after his somewhat shock move to Ibrox from Juventus on transfer deadline day to add another bit of spice to the occasion.

It's bound to be a very lively atmosphere at Celtic Park, as is usually the case when these two meet and while Old Firm matches may not always live up to the pre-match hype, there have been plenty of derbies down the years that have delivered bundles of drama and excitement.

Rangers 5 Celtic 1 - August 1988

Celtic had just won the double in their centenary year when they rocked up to Ibrox in August 1988, but they were sent packing by Graeme Souness' Rangers, who won 5-1.

Frank McAvennie fired the visitors ahead after just two minutes, but legendary striker Ally McCoist equalised before Ray Wilkins made it 2-1 with a brilliant strike. Further goals from McCoist, Kevin Drinkell and Mark Walters sealed a stunning home win.

Celtic 0 Rangers 3 - May 1999

Rangers needed a win to seal the title and they managed it thanks to two goals from Neil McCann and a Jorg Albertz penalty.

However, what should have been remembered as the day Rangers won the league for the first time at the home of their great rivals went down instead as an ugly, ill-tempered affair.

Stephane Mahe refused to leave the pitch after being shown a second yellow card, before a fan confronted referee Hugh Dallas on the pitch. The official was then later struck by a coin thrown from the crowd as the atmosphere soured further.

With tempers flaring throughout, Rod Wallace and Vidar Riseth were also dismissed in the second half to somewhat overshadow the title triumph.

Rangers 3 Celtic 2 - Scottish Cup final - May 2002

Rangers won the cup thanks to a last-minute strike by Peter Lovenkrands to spark mad celebrations in one half of Hampden Park.

John Hartson’s 19th-minute header had opened the scoring for Celtic, but Lovenkrands' first of the game levelled it up.

Bobo Balde put the Hoops in front midway through the second half, but Barry Ferguson's stunning free-kick made it 2-2, before Lovenkrands stepped up to be the Gers hero.

Celtic 2 Rangers 1 - April 2008

Gordon Strachan's Celtic were chasing Rangers in the title race in spring 2008 and knew a win was a must if they were to overhaul their lead at the top.

Shunsuke Nakamura scored a belter to put them in front, but Nacho Novo looked like he'd earned the visitors a point before Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink late winner.

Celtic took great heart from the victory and went on to win their last seven games of that campaign to clinch the title.

Celtic 5 Rangers 1 - September 2016

Brendan Rodgers' first season in charge of Celtic ended with another Scottish Premiership title and the tone was set in September that year when they hammered their city rivals 5-1.

Moussa Dembele bagged the first Old Firm league hat-trick in 50 years, while Scott Sinclair and Stuart Armstrong were also on the scoresheet on a day when the Bhoys simply outclassed the sorry visitors.

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