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4 Celtic vs Rangers key battles which could determine derby

But there is no doubt there will be some key battles which could determine the outcome of the latest crunch Old Firm derby. 

Here are some of the potential duels which could settle Celtic vs Rangers…

Greg Taylor vs Amad Diallo

Starting with perhaps the most interesting of the lot. Taylor is a Scotland internationalist and has developed into a very good left-back. He is often unfairly criticsed by Celtic fans simply because he is not Kieran Tierney. Injury issues have meant that Juranovic has had to fill in this position, but Taylor is first choice. He will absolutely have his hands full tonight though up against the dynamic Diallo. The Manchester United loanee scored four-minutes into his Rangers debut versus Ross County. He danced in and out of defenders for fun at the weekend, and there’s no doubt van Bronckhorst will task him with getting at the Celtic backline.

James McCarthy vs Joe Aribo

There is no way McCarthy would feature in this match had Callum McGegor, Tom Rogic, Nir Bitton and David Turnbull not all been absent. But it’s a case of needs must for Postecoglou here. The Ireland international has barely played since penning a four-year deal in the summer. And he will have to put in a huge shift up against Rangers’ midfield – which is their strongest area of the pitch. Aribo in particular will be the danger man, with the Nigerian getting further forward in attacks. 

Giorgos Giakoumakis vs Connor Goldson

Like the aforementioned McCarthy, had Kyogo been fit or Daizen Maeda had more time to rest after international duty, it’s unlikely the Greek striker would feature in the derby. However, to be fair to Giakoumakis, he has scored two goals in his last three games with a couple of nice finishes and has looked sharp. He will be the focal point of Celtic’s attack this evening, with the pacey players providing service. Goldson is Rangers’ best defender and he will need to be on top form to try and stop the striker. He is also a threat in both boxes, as his goal at the weekend and double in last season’s Old Firm proves.

Josip Juranovic vs Ryan Kent

Rangers’ prime danger man has had a big say on these games in recent seasons. He hasn’t faced a right-back as good as Juranovic during his time in Glasgow though. Both players have enjoyed good campaigns so far, so this should be an intriguing match up. Kent has the tricks, the skill and the pace. Juranovic also has pace, and has proved a good defender in the game time he’s had. He won’t let Kent have it all his own way either, and will get forward in Postecoglou’s inverted full-backs system, therefore making Kent track back to defend – something he won’t enjoy doing.

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