FOOTBALL BETTING: Live On Sky Sports 1: Sun 12:30 Seven points behind Rangers having played a game more, there’s an element of win or bust for Celtic in today’s Old Firm showdown at Ibrox
The Gers’ lead means they are just 1/4 with Betdaq to clinch top spot but victory for the Hoops, priced by Stan James at 9/4, would reopen the title race, leaving Tony Mowbray’s side just four points adrift with a Parkhead derby still to play.
However, any other result, including bet365’s 12/5 for the draw, would all but put paid to their hopes of catching Walter Smith’s charges, who are unbeaten on their own patch and Rangers’ home form means they are hard to oppose at 13/10 with Victor Chandler to sink their rivals. The ‘Gers have won nine of their last ten domestic fixtures at Ibrox, conceding just four times in the process and it’s this defensive stability that could prove crucial.
Admittedly, the added cutting edge that Robbie Keane brings to Celtic means they can probably find the net, an outcome Partybets offer at 2/5, and indeed Keane himself catches the eye at 21/10 (Paddy Power) to get on the scoresheet at some stage. Nevertheless, it looks set to be in vain as Rangers are a cracking 8/1 at Jaxx.com to repeat their 2-1 success from the pair’s October tussle.
For spectators the excitement is likely to start relatively early in proceedings. Ten of the last eleven Ibrox clashes between the two have seen the deadlock broken in the first half; a sequence that is 4/11 with William Hill to be extended and punters might therefore fancy Stan James’ even money for the opener to arrive before the 27th minute.
In-form Kris Boyd, who is 5/2 with 888Sport to outscore his opposite number Robbie Keane, looks well placed to improve on his previous derby showings by bagging the first at odds of 5/1 (Betfred) while elsewhere; the referee, who will naturally be under a huge amount of pressure, is quoted by Paddy Power at 2/1 to brandish and at 12/5 (William Hill) to point to the spot.