The first Old Firm battle of the season takes place on Sunday as champions Celtic welcome Rangers to Parkhead.
Here Football Paradise takes a look at the three big talking points ahead of the derby clash.
Master versus apprentice
Sunday will see ex-Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers come up against his old Anfield captain Steven Gerrard for the first time. The pair worked closely together during their time together on Merseyside and Gerrard has been full of praise for his former manager’s methods – methods which have helped Celtic rack up back-to-back trebles under the Northern Irishman. But it appears so far that the new Rangers chief paid close attention to the lessons he received from Rodgers and has put them into good practice at Ibrox. Gers remain undefeated 12 games into Gerrard’s reign and have qualified for the Europa League group stages, while Celtic have struggled to match the high standards they set in previous seasons. The test now for the former England skipper is to prove he can one over on his old teacher.
Celtic frontman Moussa Dembele has thrown an almighty strop after after Hoops chiefs refused to sanction his move to Lyon. The Frenchman took to twitter to post two ‘memes’, the first reading “a man, without is word, is nothing. A real man keeps his word” and a second which said “a lie has many variations; the truth has none”. He then followed up his online blast by ‘liking’ a number of tweets, including one which suggested he had been lied to by manager Brendan Rodgers and chief executive Peter Lawwell over promises to let him move on. Rodgers understandably does not want to release his most dangerous weapon with just hours to go before the transfer deadline but this is the last thing the Parkhead boss needed just two days before such an important clash.
Cool it Fred
Rangers hitman Alfredo Morelos was a relieved boy on Thursday night as his team clung on for the 1-1 draw that saw them past Russian outfit Ufa and into the Europa League group stages. Gers had to play the last 25 minutes with just nine men after both Morelos and Jon Flanagan were dismissed at the Neftyanik Stadium. Flanagan’s red was harsh as he collected two soft bookings but the dismissal dished out to the Colombian was fully merited after a ridiculous outburst that saw him kick the ball away before launching a furious outburst at the German officials. Gerrard refused after the match to criticise his striker in public but you can bet the Ibrox boss will have made it crystal clear to Morelos that he must keep his temper in check on Sunday.
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