The Scottish Premiership is bracing up for the first Old Firm Derby of the season. After three match-days, both Celtic and Rangers stand on 6 points, each with two wins and a loss. Though the Scottish heavyweights started the season slowly, they are slowly gaining momentum.
Both the clubs were involved in a midweek European fixture. Steven Gerrard’s Rangers qualified for the Europa League group stage after beating Alashkert 1-0 on aggregate. Meanwhile, Postecoglou and his men beat AZ Alkmaar 3-2 on aggregate to reach the group stages.
As the first Rangers vs Celtic game of the 21/22 season is about to take place, we have tried to come up with a combined starting XI.
Joe Hart (GK)- Celtic
The English shot-stopper joined the Bhoys this summer. Joe Hart is an experienced player to have in your squad and his presence in the Old Firm derby certainly ups the ante. He has had a good start so far for Ange Postecoglou’s team, with 2 clean sheets in 3 games.
Carl Starfelt (CB)- Celtic
Carl Starfelt joined Celtic amid great anticipation, signing a four-year contract till 2025. The Hoops bought the Swedish centre-back to replace Kristoffer Ajer, who joined Premier League side Brentford. He has so far lived up to the billing, having featured for the Glasgow giants in all 3 Scottish Premiership games.
Conor Goldson (CB)- Rangers
The English defender Conor Goldson has been a mainstay in the Rangers’ defence for three seasons and is in great form this season too, with a goal to his name in the Premiership. Pairing up Goldson with Starfelt will be a delightful sight for the viewers and a dreadful opposition for the strikers.
James Tavernier (RB)- Rangers
Including Rangers captain James Tavernier for a Celtic and Rangers combined XI is a no-brainer. The Englishman has made an impressive start to the season with 4 assists from 6 games for the Gers across all competitions.
Greg Taylor (LB)- Celtic
The 23-year-old Scottish international is the first choice for Postecoglou when it comes to operations on the left flank. The player has already featured 10 games for the Hoops this season and also has two assists to his name.
Callum McGregor (MF)- Celtic
The Celtic captain is the pivot in the three-man midfield of Postecoglou. He is the connection between the defence and attack and channelises the position to find space between opposition lines from the deep. He has a genuine claim to be in the Celtic – Rangers combined XI.
Glen Kamara (MF)- Rangers
The Finland international was a point of major discussion in the summer transfer window, but the player decided on staying and also signed a contract extension with Rangers. Having a player with such tactical ability and positional awareness increases your superiority over the midfield.
David Turnbull (MF)- Celtic
The 22-year-old Scottish midfielder is in great form this season under Postecoglou. His link-up with his captain in midfield helps him make attacking raids into opposition defences. He has already bagged three goals from three Scottish Premiership games.
Ryan Kent-(LW)- Rangers
Ryan Kent is the first name on the teamsheet for Steven Gerrard when selecting players for the attacking line. Kent can make the destructive raids from the left-wing, splitting the high-line with sudden runs.
Liel Abada-(RW)- Celtic
The Israeli forward operates on the right flank under Postecoglou and ensures powerful crosses into the opposition. The 19-year-old arrived at Celtic Park this summer, impressing all in a short span with his attacking nous. He has already scored 4 goals and bagged 3 assists in 8 appearances for the Hoops this season.
Odsonne Edouard-(CF)- Celtic
In an ideal world, there are no better options available among the Old Firm clubs than Odsonne Edouard in the attacking front. Including the Frenchman might be controversial now, having only managed to score 3 goals from 10 appearances so far this season, but having him for a Celtic – Rangers combined starting XI would have been a no-brainer one or two seasons ago. His experience and goal-scoring track record is proof of his quality.
Although Rangers have the home advantage and the defending Champions’ tag, this improved Celtic side under Postecoglou is fierce, having scored 13 goals in 3 games in the Scottish Premiership. The Old Firm Derby today will be a gripping contest.