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Rangers V Celtic: Scottish Premiership – Live

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Ange Postegolou speaks: “We’ve just got to maintain our focus on playing our football,” the Celtic manager tells Sky Sports, after paying solemn tribute to Frank McGarvey and offering his condolences to the former Celtic striker’s family. “Obviously it’s a big game, everyone knows that … a difficult venue and a tough opponent. There’s no better opportunity to test ourselves.

“You can already see changes that [Michael Beale] has made to Celtic. He has the same personnel so he’s limited with what he can do in that regard. It still comes down to us today.”

Michael Beale speaks: “It’s over to the players now,” says the Rangers manager in an interview with Sky Sports. “I feel they’re prepared. Coming in over a month ago there was a lot of uncertainty over injuries and players like that. We seem to have everyone back and available. We’ve got here as best as we could so now it’s over to the players and I’m looking forward to watching the game.

“We have to play on the front foot and we’ve picked an attacking team to do that. We’ve obviously picked Malik [Tillman] and Fashion [Sakala] to do that. We’ve not gone for one or the other because we want to go for the three points. It’s a derby and I want to focus on that rather than any background story over where it takes the league. The most important thing is that we perform for our fans because in the game earlier in the season we didn’t and that’s a big regret for us.”

A day of remembrance at IbroxAhead of kick-off there will be a minute’s silence to remember the 66 victims of the Ibrox disaster which took place on this day in 1971. There will also be tributes to the late Pele, as well as the Celtic legend Frank McGarvey, who passed away yesterday.

Those teams: Alistair Johnston starts for Celtic after his move to the club last month was ratified by the opening of the transfer window. His fellow right-back Josip Juranovic starts on the bench. Midfielder Aaron Mooy makes way for James Forrest and Liel Abada, who scored twice against Rangers in September is a somewhat surprising omission from Celtic’s starting line-up. He has to settle for a place on the bench.

Rangers boss Mick Beale also makes two changes from the side that beat MOtherwell last Wednesday. Glen Kamara and Fashionm Sakala come into midfield in place of Alex Lowry and Ryan Jack. Alfredo Morelos starts up front, while Antonio Colak is on the bench.

Rangers v Celtic line-upsRangers: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Davies, Barisic, Kamara, Lundstram, Tillman, Kent, Sakala, Morelos.

Subs: McLaughlin, Jack, Colak, Sands, Wright, Roofe, Arfield, King, Devine.

Celtic: Hart, Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Taylor, McGregor, Hatate, O’Riley, Forrest, Maeda, Kyogo.

Subs: Bain, Giakoumakis, Abada, Mooy, Jota, Kobayashi, Bernabei, Abildgaard, Juranovic.

Referee: John Beaton

Early team newsRangers defenders John Souttar and Filip Helander remain long-term absentees, while midfielders Steven Davis and Ianis Hagi are also sidelined indefinitely. Up front, Alfredo Morelos is likely to be fit despite limping out of his side’s recent win over Motherwell with a hamstring problem, but may make way for Antonio Kolak, who is back from injury. Kemar Roofe is also returning to full fitness and may feature on the bench.

In the absence of right-back Andrew Ralston, who is injured, Canada international Alistair Johnston is likely to make his Celtic debut after signing from Montreal Imp, but the Hoops are without suspended midfielder David Turnball and injured winger Sead Haksabanovic.

Canadian defender Alastair Johnston will make his Celtic debut in a baptism of fire at Ibrox today. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PAVAR: Introduced to the Scottish Premiership in October to help referees make fewer errors and hopefully put an end to the often ridiculous conspiracy theories cooked up by more paranoid fans of Scotland’s two biggest teams, it should go without sayimng that Video Assistant Referees have done nothing of the kind. Indeed, if anything, they have only poured more petrol on the conspiratorial fires.

For all the good it will do, ahead of today’s game, Ange Postecoglou has called on the match officials to ensure VAR delays do not disrupt the marquee fixture. Ewan Murray reports …

Scottish Premiership: Rangers v CelticWith Celtic already nine points clear in the race to the ottish title, Rangers are in desperate need of a win in the first Old Firm match-up of the new year. The two sides meet at Ibrox this afternoon, with Michael Beale taking charge of Rangers in his first Glasgow derby after masterminding four wins from four since taking charge a month ago.

They will need a far better performance than September’s feeble effort at Celtic Park, when Ange Postecoglou’s side ran riot, battering their visitors by four goals without reply. Celtic go into today’s game on the back of 12 consecutive league wins and have dropped just three points this season, the only blot on their copybook a 2-0 defeat at St Mirren in September. Another victory today will surely end to any faint hopes their city rivals might have of reeling them in. Kick-off at Ibrox is at 12.30pm but stay tuned in the meantime for team news and build-up.

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