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Rangers v Celtic Key Battles: James Tavernier 11/4 to Score Anytime and Matt O'Riley 13/10 to Score or Assist

Ahead of one of the most pivotal Old Firm derby matches in a number of years, we take a look at some of the key individual battles which are set to take centre stage at Ibrox.

Currently trailing Celtic by a solitary point whilst boasting a game in hand, Philippe Clement's Rangers know a victory at home to their bitter rivals this weekend will see them go top of the Scottish Premiership table.

The Gers have been in the better form of the two Scottish giants in this calendar year, dropping just three points when beaten by Motherwell at Ibrox last month, with Celtic dropping seven points following draws against Aberdeen and Kilmarnock as well as a defeat at Hearts.

Rangers are yet to get the better of Brendan Rodgers' side so far this term, however, with Celtic prevailing in both Old Firm derbies - 1-0 at Ibrox and 2-1 at Parkhead.

With the outcome of Sunday's Old Firm contest set to go a long way towards determining the direction of the Scottish Premiership title this year, we examine the areas of the pitch in which this decisive fixture could be won and lost in Glasgow's south side.

Rangers v Celtic

1) James Tavernier v Daizen Maeda

After breaking the record for most goals scored by a defender in British club football history when opening the scoring in a 3-1 home victory over Hibernian in his last outing, Rangers captain James Tavernier will be desperate for another memorable weekend when Celtic visit Ibrox on Sunday.

Reaching a staggering total of 131 goals to surpass the tally racked up by ex-Preston and Burnley stalwart Graham Alexander, Tavernier is currently second in the Scottish Premiership's goalscorer standings this season on 15, trailing only Hearts striker Lawrence Shankland on 20.

Such feats are remarkable for a right-back, with Tavernier a vital part of a Rangers side striving to win the club's first league title since Steven Gerrard's Invincible team of 2020/21.

The ex-Newcastle United youngster will go toe-to-toe with fleet-footed Celtic forward Daizen Maeda at Ibrox this weekend in what has grown into one of the most compelling individual match-ups in Old Firm matches in recent years.

An unconventional forward player, capable of playing up front or out wide, Japanese international Maeda is blessed with impressive speed and incredible stamina, and is arguably more effective out of possession when pressing opposition defences than he is when looking to make and score goals with the ball at his feet.

This penchant for pressing makes Maeda an effective tool for Celtic to use on the left flank as a means of nullifying Rangers skipper Tavernier's attacking threat from right-back, with the forward's relentless running giving the Englishman plenty to think about both from an offensive and defensive standpoint.

James Tavernier to Score at Anytime - 11/4

James Tavernier to be Booked - 2/1

Daizen Maeda to Score at Anytime - 3/1

Daizen Maeda to be Booked - 11/4

2) Matt O'Riley v John Lundstram

If Rangers captain Tavernier is arguably the Gers' key attacking weapon, this status has unequivocally been held by Denmark international Matt O'Riley for Celtic this season.

Registering 28 goal contributions in all competitions - 12 goals and 16 assists - ex-MK Dons midfielder O'Riley has grown into a hugely influential figure at Parkhead.

Occupying an advanced midfield position in Rodgers' preferred 4-3-3 set-up at Celtic, O'Riley has a nice blend of dynamic and technical attributes - standing at 6ft 2in and yet blessed with silky close control.

If Celtic are to prevail at Ibrox expect O'Riley to be heavily involved, with the 23-year-old tasked with turning midfield into attack for the Hoops and picking holes in Rangers' defence.

The man primarily responsible for limiting O'Riley's influence upon proceedings at Ibrox this weekend will be Rangers' John Lundstram, who has been a key figure for the Govan side since Philippe Clement assumed charge at Ibrox in October.

A combative, all-action operator, ex-Sheffield United midfielder Lundstram is a player who relishes the big occasion, and the 30-year-old will be more than aware of the importance of keeping opposite number O'Riley quiet on Sunday.

Matt O'Riley to Score or Assist- 3/1

Matt O'Riley to be Booked - 7/2

John Lundstram to Score at Anytime - 13/2

John Lundstram to be Booked - 2/1

3) Cyriel Dessers v Cameron Carter-Vickers

A somewhat enigmatic figure, Nigeria international Cyriel Dessers has experienced mixed fortunes since signing for Rangers from Italian side Cremonese for £4.3m last summer.

Initially struggling to find his feet at Ibrox - scoring just one goal in his first even league matches - Dessers' form has notably improved under Philippe Clement having netted on 12 occasions in the Scottish Premiership under the auspices of the Belgian.

From sublime to the ridiculous, Dessers has proven capable of delivering pivotal goals whilst passing up gilt-edged chances in a Rangers shirt to date, and it appears difficult to predict what the Belgian-born forward will conjure up next.

The Rangers faithful will be praying Dessers is at the top of his game ahead of the visit of Celtic, and with the 29-year-old set to come up against a centre-back of the calibre of Cameron Carter-Vickers, he will certainly need to be.

American Carter-Vickers has been a revelation for Celtic since signing initially on loan from Tottenham in 2021, with some of his best performances for the Hoops arriving in Old Firm derby matches in which the United States international's no nonsense defensive prowess has come to the fore.

Coming up against Carter-Vickers will be a big test of Dessers' credentials as Rangers' number one striker, with his reputation amongst the club's ardent support still very much up in the air.

Cyriel Dessers to Score at Anytime - 21/10

Cyriel Dessers to be Booked - 5/1

Cameron Carter-Vickers to Score at Anytime - 20/1

Cameron Carter-Vickers to be Booked - 11/5

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