Rangers v Celtic: Key battles

Rangers' Abdallah Sima and Celtic's Alistair Johnston
Rangers' Abdallah Sima could come up against Celtic's Alistair Johnston again on Sunday [SNS]

John Souttar & Connor Goldson v Kyogo Furuhashi

Kyogo Furuhashi has been the scourge of Rangers for years now, and has popped up with a goal in both of Celtic's Old Firm victories in the league.

John Souttar was in the Rangers team for the first of those defeats as Kyogo volleyed the only goal at Ibrox in September. Leon Balogun played and was sent off in Rangers' 2-1 loss at Celtic Park in December and Souttar has largely partnered Connor Goldson in Rangers' back four since.

You would expect that pair to be tested frequently by the Japanese striker, who is looking more like himself after struggling to make his mark under Brendan Rodgers.


The trusted pair of Mohamed Diomande and John Lundstram are likely to feature for Rangers, while Celtic's first-choice trio of Matt O'Riley, Callum McGregor and Reo Hatate are all set to be fit.

Hatate returned to the starting line-up and impressed in Sunday's win at Livingston, while O'Riley scored the third in the 3-0 win. McGregor has been out since late February but Celtic are hopeful of getting their captain back in time for Ibrox.

Todd Cantwell has not been shy in letting the world know he prefers playing in the number 10 role for the Ibrox side, a position that has brought out the best in the Englishman. He grabbed an assist for Rangers' second goal against Hibs on Saturday.

Celtic's task will be to keep a lid on his influence, while also being prepared for the introduction of Tom Lawrence.

Abdallah Sima or Rabbi Matondo v Alistair Johnston

Abdallah Sima made his long awaited return to the Rangers team on Sunday, coming off the bench in Sunday's 3-1 win. Rabbi Matondo also made an appearance from the bench and netted Rangers' clinching goal in gorgeous fashion.

Though Fabio Silva started on the left, Philippe Clement may feel compelled to go for a more natural wide option in Sima or Matondo against regular Celtic right-back Alistair Johnston, who will be expected to do as much attacking as defending.