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Glasgow rivals Celtic and Rangers are set to go head to head in the Scottish Premiership at the Celtic Park, on Saturday.
Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic are on course for a 7th consecutive Premiership title, as they sit comfortably on top of the table. Having seen their 69-game unbeaten run thwarted emphatically by Hearts, the Hoops have bounced back strongly, winning their last three games in a convincing manner and the manager will be hoping that his side continue in the same way, in the derby as well.
Rangers, on the other hand, will be looking to improve on their third-place finish from last season, in their second season back into the top-flight. They currently occupy the 3rd spot in the standings, three points behind second-placed Dons and 11 behind the leaders.
The last time the two sides met, at the Ibrox, in September, the Hoops came away with a comfortable 2-0 win. And ahead of the weekend’s Derby, here we take a look at the combined XI featuring players from both teams (injured and suspended players not considered).
The Celtic man gets the nod ahead of Rangers’ Wes Foderingham, owing to his better record between the sticks, considering that he has kept 10 clean sheets and conceded 15 goals compared to 5 shutouts and 25 goals shipped in by the Gers’ stopper.
While Mikael Lustig has been in good form for Celtic, Rangers’ James Tavernier gets the nod here, given that his attacking output this term has been extremely impressive. The 26-year old has scored 3 and assisted 5 in the Premiership, while Lustig has just one goal.
The Belgian has been Celtic’s best defender this term, despite having missed a good chunk of the early season due to injuries. While the likes of Bruno Alves and Danny Wilson have performed decently for the Gers, it is Boyata who makes the cut.
The emergence of the talented Ross McCrorie has to be one of the biggest positives for Rangers this season. The 19-year old has stood out in the defence and has performed admirably in a defensive midfield role too. His impressive performances earn him a place in this line-up.
Easily the best left-back in the Premiership, Celtic’s Kieran Tierney has netted twice and assisted 4 this season and has continued to enhance his burgeoning reputation. While Rangers’ Declan John too has been quite good, it is Tierney who wins the battle of the left-backs.
The 32-year old Celtic club captain doesn’t always take the centre-stage, but the work that he does in the middle of the park is extremely important for the Hoops to play the way they do. Jason Holt has been in decent form in the past weeks for the Gers, but that is not enough to oust the Celtic skipper from this line-up.
The Celtic starlet has been a revelation since his summer move from Manchester City. Good distribution, solid defensive nous and a keen eye for a goal, the 21-year old has it all and has the makings of a superstar. His form and influence on the games in recent weeks sees him earn a spot in this team.
An easy pick, considering the red-hot form the 26-year old has been in of late. Forrest has flourished on the right flank for the Hoops, scoring 7 in the Premiership, and is a much better option than Rangers’ Daniel Candeias, who has struggled for consistency.
The 24-year old has grown in stature in the last year or so and has established himself as an important part of the Celtic setup under Brendan Rodgers. With 5 goals and 4 assists to his name from 20 Premiership appearances, he gets a place in this team.
The second highest goal-scorer in the Premiership with 8 strikes to his name, and 4 assists to go along with them, the 28-year old Scott Sinclair continues to deliver for the champions and walks into this combined line-up.
Leading the line in this combined XI will be Rangers’ breakout star of the season, Alfredo Morelos. The 21-year old has been extremely impressive for the Light Blues since his summer move and has netted 10 goals in 19 Premiership outings – the highest tally in the competition. Has struck 4 times in the last 5 games and comes into the derby on good form.