Sam Hendry with the low-down on the best bet for the Old Firm clash

Sam Hendry with the low-down on the best bet for the Old Firm clash

Steven Gerrard leads his Rangers team into an Old Firm derby against old boss Brendan Rodgers for the first time in the most anticipated clash between Glasgow’s two footballing giants in years.

Gerrard has transformed this Rangers team – particularly defensively – in an impressively short amount of time and they have performed superbly to reach the Europa League group stages, but this will be by far their biggest test yet and many of their new signings will have not experienced an atmosphere or occasion like an Old Firm derby before.

Champions League elimination, the Dedryck Boyata saga and now an apparent falling out with star striker Moussa Dembele after rejecting his wish for a move to Lyon, means Brendan Rodgers’ halo as Celtic manager has slipped for the first time since taking charge in 2016.

Despite those struggles and some lifeless performances, they are still a point ahead of their eternal rivals after three games and have always raised their game for the derbies, playing Rangers off the park for most of the last two years.

Rangers have been backed into a much shorter price than usual, but with home advantage the edge must still go to Celtic.

With Celtic not as fluent an attacking force and Rangers strength lying in defence, it could be a low scoring affair and I’m backing a Celtic win with under 2.5 goals at odds of 7/2 with Ladbrokes and Coral.

Arsenal look a generous price to record only their second away win of 2018 on Sunday when they travel to Wales to take on Cardiff.

Their comeback victory over West Ham will have given the Gunners a nice confident boost after two opening defeats and with most of their rivals for a top four spot making strong starts, Unai Emery must ensure his team don’t fall too far behind.

Cardiff are the only team in the top four English leagues yet to score a league goal, although some strong performances from their defence and Neil Etheridge in goal has at least given them consecutive 0-0 draws against Newcastle and Huddersfield

Not getting three points from either of those could ultimately prove costly for them, though, because with four of their next five fixtures against teams from last season’s top six, it means their wait for a first win could stretch into October or beyond.

I’m taking Arsenal to win this one comfortably with odds of  6/4 with Ladbrokes and Coral for them to be leading at half time and full time.

Leave a comment