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Scottish Football: Can Ramsey inspire Rangers charge?

This year's Scottish Premiership title race promises to be an enthralling battle and both Celtic and Rangers are in action on Wednesday.

The Hoops currently hold a one-point lead at the top of the standings after following up last week's convincing Old Firm derby victory by putting Motherwell to the sword on Sunday.

The Gers were also big winners at the weekend, bouncing back from their defeat at Parkhead with a resounding 5-0 thrashing of Hearts, and both sides will be keen to deliver repeat results this midweek.

Celtic flying at the top

Celtic's early-season teething problems under Ange Postecoglou now feel like a distant memory, as the Australian has got his side not only playing an eye-catching brand of football, but also delivering consistent results.

The Bhoys have won seven matches on the spin and 14 of their last 15 across all competitions to further underline their new-found consistency, with their last defeat coming away to Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League nearly three months ago.

That run of results gets all the more impressive when you focus solely on their league form, as Celtic have won 16 and lost none of their previous 18 matches in the Scottish Premiership, underlining their 8/15 credentials to regain the title they relinquished to Rangers (11/8) last season.

Next up for Celtic is a testing looking away fixture against Aberdeen, but the Bhoys are unbeaten in their last 16 meetings with the Dons and they can be backed at 8/15 to add another three points on Wednesday, with the draw 3/1.

New Bhoys doing the business

Celtic's impressive form has been aided by their recruitment during the January transfer window, with midfielder Matt O'Riley having joined from MK Dons, while Japanese trio Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda and Yosuke Ideguchi have arrived from the J1 League.

Hatate and Maeda have particularly caught the eye, the former netting two goals in as many starts, while the latter has struck three times, including a brace in the Old Firm derby win over Rangers.

The new arrivals have certainly had an immediate impact, while also bolstering a squad that will be tested when their European campaign resumes in the Europa Conference League later this month.

Related Scottish Football News

Scottish Football: Old Firm meet with top spot on the line

Scottish Football: Postecoglou delighted with Jota form

Rangers response was needed

Rangers needed to bounce back from last week's 3-0 defeat at the hands of Celtic and they did that in style, with an Alfredo Morelos brace and strikes from Glen Kamara, Scott Arfield and Fashion Sakala helping them to a five-star performance and victory over Hearts on Sunday.

In truth, the Gers have been delivering under Giovanni van Bronckhorst, as the loss to Celtic, albeit a painful one, is the only defeat they have suffered in 15 games under the Dutchman since he succeeded Steven Gerrard in the dugout back in November.

Van Bronckhorst - who won two Premiership titles as a player with Rangers - as well as leading Feyenoord to Eredivisie glory as a manger, certainly knows what it takes to win a championship, and he will be hoping his side can pick up another three points when they host Hibernian on Wednesday.

The Gers have won their last five league meetings with Hibs and they are 3/10 to record another victory this midweek, but the visitors did triumph when the two sides met in the League Cup back in November and the draw is available at 9/2.

Ramsey could have key role to play

The signing of Aaron Ramsey on loan from Juventus was a major coup for Rangers on deadline day and the Wales international was handed his debut as a late substitute during Sunday's victory over the Jambos.

Ramsey could have a key role to play during the second half of the season, although Van Bronckhorst has confirmed the 31-year-old won't be ready to make his first start against Hibs.

Fellow midfielder Ryan Jack will also miss Wednesday's contest due to an ankle injury, while the match will come too soon for central defender Filip Helander - who has been sidelined since September with a knee issue - although he could make his long-awaited return in Saturday's Scottish Cup clash with Annan Athletic.

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