Celtic vs Rangers Predictions

Celtic vs Rangers predictions, betting tips and match previews for this Old Firm clash in the Scottish FA Cup final. Celtic and Rangers face off in the first Old Firm Scottish Cup Final in 22 years at Hampden. Read on for our free predictions and betting tips.


Scotish Cup | Final – May 25, 2024 at 3pm UK at Hampden Park

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Celtic vs Rangers Predictions

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Celtic and Rangers Set for a Thrilling Scottish Cup Final Showdown

Key Stats

– Matt O’Riley has scored in seven of his last nine matches, including against Rangers.

– Celtic have won three and drawn one of their four encounters with Rangers this season.

– Rangers have scored in all but three of their last 14 matches, despite their inconsistent form.

The historic rivalry between Celtic and Rangers is set to reignite in the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden Park. This is the first time in 22 years that these two football giants meet in this prestigious final, adding an extra layer of anticipation and intensity. As Celtic aim to cap off a remarkable season with a domestic double, Rangers are eager to salvage some pride amidst a turbulent campaign.

Current Form and Team Dynamics

Celtic have been in scintillating form, clinching their 12th title in 13 years and maintaining an impressive winning streak. Brendan Rodgers’ men have won their last six league matches, showcasing a blend of clinical finishing and resolute defending. This resurgence in form comes after a period of criticism, but the Hoops have silenced their doubters emphatically.

Rangers, on the other hand, have struggled with consistency and injuries. Their performances in big matches have been underwhelming, raising questions about their mentality and tactical approach. Philippe Clement’s side have been plagued by injuries to key players, significantly weakening their squad depth. Despite these challenges, the unpredictable nature of the Old Firm derby means anything can happen.

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Expected Line-ups and Tactical Insights


  • Formation: 4-3-3
  • Line-up: Hart, Johnstone, Carter-Vickers, Scales, Taylor, O’Riley, McGregor, Hatate, Forrest, Furuhashi, Maeda.

Celtic’s line-up is likely to feature their strongest eleven, with Matt O’Riley in exceptional form. The Danish midfielder has been pivotal, scoring eight goals in his last nine games. Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda will lead the attack, providing pace and creativity.


  • Formation: 4-2-3-1
  • Line-up: Butland, Tavernier, Davies, Balogun, Barisic, Lundstram, Sterling, Cantwell, Diomande, Silva, Dessers.

Rangers’ line-up is more uncertain due to injury concerns. Key players like Connor Goldson and Danilo are sidelined, while Leon Balogun and John Souttar are racing against time to be fit. Cyriel Dessers, despite missing numerous chances, remains a significant threat, having scored 23 goals this season.

Key Players and Tactical Battles


  • Matt O’Riley: The midfielder’s ability to score and create chances will be crucial. His knack for finding space and making late runs into the box makes him a constant threat.
  • Callum McGregor: The captain’s leadership and vision in midfield will be vital in dictating the tempo and maintaining possession.


  • James Tavernier: As the top scorer, Tavernier’s forward runs and set-piece delivery can be game-changing. His defensive responsibilities will also be critical in containing Celtic’s wingers.
  • Todd Cantwell: Creative and industrious, Cantwell will be tasked with unlocking Celtic’s defence and providing support to Dessers.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Celtic’s Strengths:

  • Attacking Versatility: With players like O’Riley, Furuhashi, and Maeda, Celtic have multiple attacking outlets capable of changing the game.
  • Defensive Solidity: A strong defensive record, highlighted by 15 clean sheets, provides a solid foundation for their attacking play.

Celtic’s Weaknesses:

  • High Expectations: The pressure of being favourites and the weight of expectation can sometimes lead to complacency.

Rangers’ Strengths:

  • Set Pieces: Tavernier’s prowess in set pieces provides Rangers with a reliable scoring opportunity, particularly in tight matches.
  • Counter-Attacking: Quick transitions and exploiting space behind Celtic’s full-backs could be a fruitful strategy.

Rangers’ Weaknesses:

  • Injury Crisis: The absence of key players has disrupted their rhythm and weakened their defensive structure.
  • Mental Resilience: Recent big game performances have raised doubts about their ability to handle pressure.

Managerial Analysis

Brendan Rodgers: Rodgers’ tactical acumen and ability to motivate his players have been evident in Celtic’s resurgence. His emphasis on possession-based football and high pressing has yielded results, but his side must remain focused against a determined Rangers.

Philippe Clement: Clement’s tenure has been marked by inconsistency. His tactical decisions and team selection have often been questioned. This final presents an opportunity for redemption, but his ability to inspire confidence in a beleaguered squad will be tested.

Expected Gameplay and Key Areas

Celtic are expected to dominate possession, utilising their midfield to control the game and create scoring opportunities. Rangers might adopt a more conservative approach, relying on counter-attacks and set pieces. The battle in midfield between McGregor and Cantwell could be decisive, as well as the duels between Tavernier and Maeda on the flanks.


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Best Bet: Celtic to Win and Both Teams to Score

Given Celtic’s recent dominance and Rangers’ defensive vulnerabilities, the best bet for this match is a Celtic win with both teams finding the net. Celtic have shown a consistent ability to score, netting 95 goals in the Premiership this season. Their attacking prowess, spearheaded by the in-form Matt O’Riley and supported by Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda, makes them a formidable force.

However, Rangers, despite their struggles, have maintained an average of 2.3 goals per game. Their top scorer, James Tavernier, along with Cyriel Dessers, poses a significant threat. This suggests that while Celtic are likely to secure victory, Rangers have enough firepower to score, resulting in a high-scoring affair.

Correct Score Prediction: Celtic 3-1 Rangers

A 3-1 victory for Celtic appears to be the most probable outcome given their attacking strength and Rangers’ defensive issues. Celtic have been prolific in front of goal, averaging 2.5 goals per game.

With players like O’Riley and Furuhashi in top form, they are expected to breach Rangers’ defence multiple times. Rangers, on the other hand, have conceded 32 goals this season and are struggling with injuries to key defenders. Nonetheless, their attacking capabilities, particularly through Tavernier and Dessers, suggest they can manage at least one goal. This prediction aligns with both teams’ current form and statistical trends.

Goalscorer Prediction: Matt O’Riley to Score Anytime

Matt O’Riley has been in exceptional form, scoring eight goals in his last nine matches. His ability to make late runs into the box and finish clinically makes him a constant threat.

Against a Rangers side that has conceded regularly, O’Riley’s scoring prowess is likely to come to the fore. His recent performances, including goals against Rangers, underline his importance to Celtic’s attacking play. Given his current form and confidence, backing O’Riley to score at any time during the match is a strong prediction.

Corner Prediction: Celtic to Win More Corners

Celtic’s attacking style and dominance in possession suggest they will win more corners in this encounter. On average, Celtic earn 9.5 corners per game, reflecting their sustained pressure and frequent forays into the opposition’s final third. Rangers, meanwhile, average 7.7 corners per game but tend to concede more when under pressure.

With Celtic expected to control the game and create numerous scoring opportunities, they are likely to win the corner count. The prediction is further supported by Rangers’ tendency to defend deep, especially against stronger opponents, leading to more clearances and subsequent corners for Celtic.

Innovative Market Prediction: Total Cards Over 3.5

The Old Firm derby is renowned for its intensity and physicality, often resulting in a high number of fouls and bookings. In a match of this magnitude, with both teams vying for silverware, the likelihood of disciplinary action increases. This season, Celtic and Rangers have shown a propensity for picking up cards, with Rangers averaging 1 yellow card per game and Celtic close behind.

The pressure and emotional stakes of the Scottish Cup final are likely to exacerbate this trend. Therefore, predicting over 3.5 total cards in the match is reasonable, considering the rivalry’s history and the competitive nature of the game.

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Herrin Kendrick
Herrin Kendrick is a sports journalist with 10 years of experience in the sports betting industry. His work has been referenced by many sports publications over the years. Sport passionate.