Scotland U-21 international midfielder KYLE HUTTON (41) of Rangers, in only his third career appearance for the senior first team, fends off the challenge of Celtic’s Israel international midfielder BIRAM KAYAL (33) during the 390th Old Firm Derby in the Scottish Premier League this past January 2nd at Ibrox Stadium. (Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)
Old Firm arch-rivals CELTIC and RANGERS will clash for the 391st time in the 5th round of the Scottish Football Association Cup at Ibrox Stadium on the south bank of the River Clyde in Glasgow on Sunday.
Although Rangers do hold a fifteen-match lead in all competitions for the overall series record, it is Celtic who have collected more F.A. Cup wins throughout the history of this great derby fixture.
Celtic, who won the last Old Firm Derby just after the New Year on the strength of two goals scored by Greece World Cup winger GEORGIOS SAMARAS, are the current leaders in the Scottish Premier League with a five-point separation between ultimate adversary Rangers, who do have the luxury of two games in hand.
Of course, it has already been decided that the long-time, fierce enemies will engage in the League Cup Final to be played at Hampden Park in Glasgow this coming March 20.
Almost an entire calendar year has passed since United States World Cup midfielder MAURICE EDU, the former All-American at the University of Maryland who was signed from Major League Soccer for a transfer fee of 2.6 million English pounds in August of 2008, scored a goal three minutes into time added on to give Rangers a 1-0 Old Firm Derby victory over Celtic on February 28, 2010, at Ibrox Stadium on the south bank of the River Clyde. (guardian.co.uk)
Rangers have been the target of recent criticism centering around their transfer policy.
Scotland international KENNY MILLER easily paced Rangers with 21 goals in only 17 Scottish Premier League games this season but was sold to Turkish club KD Bursaspor for a transfer fee of 400,000 English pounds at the end of January. The move will cut an estimated 300,000 English pounds from what would have been due Miller off the Rangers wage bill. But exactly who will replace the goals of the departed 31-year-old striker, who scored for Rangers against Bursaspor in the UEFA Champions League earlier this campaign, has yet to be determined.
England international striker JAMES BEATTIE, a complete bust since his transfer costing 1.5 million English pounds from Stoke City this past August, has been sent out on loan by Rangers to English Premier League club FC Blackpool for the remainder of the season. Another 31-year-old striker, the first player signed by manager WALTER SMITH in roughly two years due to budgetary constraints made just seven appearances (five starts) in the Scottish Premier League this term. Overall, Beattie played just ten matches and scored no goals for Rangers before returning south of the border.
Many are unhappy that Rangers have added Senegal interational forward EL HADJI DIOUF, a career underachiever in the English top flight. The 30-year-old has arrived on loan from Blackburn Rovers after no goals in 20 Premier League matches this season. Since signing for Blackburn Rovers from FC Sunderland in January of 2009, Diouf had managed just four goals in 60 English Premier League games and, thus, does not inspire a great deal of confidence in some quarters.
The Rangers attacker who needs to announce his goal-scoring presence is Croatia international NIKICA JELAVIC. The 25-year-old striker, a purchase of 4.0 million English pounds from Austrian side SK Rapid Vienna this past August, has missed much of this campaign on account of injury. Jelavic, only recently returned to action, has scored five goals from ten appearances in all competitions for Rangers this term.
Celtic will not have to worry about conceding any goals to KENNY MILLER (left), who scored twice during the 389th installment of the Old Firm Derby at Parkhead last October, in the 5th round of the Scottish F.A. Cup in Glasgow on Sunday as cash-strapped Rangers have sold the Scotland international striker to Turkish side KD Bursaspor for a reported transfer fee of 400,000 English pounds.
OLD FIRM DERBY
Celtic v Rangers, all-time record
Scottish League —– Rangers 117, Celtic 98, tied 83
Scottish FA Cup —– Celtic 22, Rangers 16, tied 8
Scottish Lge Cup —- Rangers 23, Celtic 21, tied 2
TOTAL —— Rangers 156, Celtic 141, drawn matches 93
2010-11 : RANGERS
goal-scoring (all competitions)
Smith 22, Naismith 9, Lafferty 6, Jelavic 5, Weiss 5, Edu 4, Bougherra 2, Davis 2, Whittaker 2, Little 1, McCulloch 1, Papac 1
2010-11 : CELTIC
goal-scoring (all competitons)
Stokes 16, Hooper 13, Samaras 7, McCourt 6, Maloney 4, Forrest 3, Ki 3, McGinn 3, Brown 2, Juarez 2, Ledley 2, Murphy 2, Rogne 2, Cha 1, Commons 1, Izaguirre 1, Loovens 1, Majstorovic 1, Mulgrew 1, Wilson 1