Sky Live: Celtic v Rangers: Old Firm clash live on Sky Sports Football
Last Updated: 30/12/17 11:23am
Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon has warned Rangers his team-mates thrive in "pressure games" and are gunning to extend their lead at the top with an Old Firm triumph.
The Scottish Premiership leaders are 11 points clear of third-placed Gers with their title under no serious threat from the Ibrox side at the moment.
Rangers' last victory in 90 minutes against Celtic was in March 2012, but, although Brendan Rodgers' side go into the Saturday lunchtime showdown - live on Sky Sports Football - heavy favourites once again, Gordon insists the magnitude of the fixture has not diminished.
He said: "You can try and say it is like any other game, it is three points, but nobody is going to believe that.
"For the players it is not. I would be lying if I told you any different. It is a big game and we are right up for it. We've performed well in the pressure games over the past few years and this is another one. We want to go into the [winter] break with as big a gap as possible."
Rodgers reckons he knows what to expect from Rangers, despite conceding opposite number Graeme Murty has made a few tweaks since taking over from Pedro Caixinha.
"They look a bit more direct - not so much build-up from behind," he said. "Graeme has changed his shape a few times in terms of playing a diamond and playing 4-4-1-1 but it is pretty much the same players and I don't think there will be too many surprises for us."
Murty has overseen away wins at Hearts, Aberdeen and Hibernian since taking charge and has challenged his side to deliver their "best performance of the season" at Parkhead.
"We always have a point to prove against Celtic," he said. "It is one of the biggest and best games in the world so we have to be ready at our top level.
"We know that we are capable of playing at a level, but we know against Celtic we have to be at that level for the whole game. Regardless of the level Celtic perform at, we have to make sure we concentrate on delivering our best performance of the season."
Celtic winger Scott Sinclair is expected to be fit after being left out of the Boxing Day win over Dundee as a precaution.
Sinclair has shaken off knocks to his knee and ankle sustained against Aberdeen, but another winger, Jonny Hayes, broke his leg against Dundee and faces a long spell on the sidelines.
Midfielder Tom Rogic and defender Anthony Ralston remain out with knee problems, while loan winger Patrick Roberts has returned to Manchester City for treatment on a hamstring injury.
Murty is hoping Rangers midfielder Ryan Jack will be fit in time for the lunchtime kick-off.
Jack came off worst in a challenge with Motherwell defender Cedric Kipre on Wednesday night and had to be carried off on a stretcher with a knee injury - but Murty is not giving up on the player featuring at Parkhead.
He said: "Ryan is sore. Our physios are taking very good care of him but we don't know yet if there is any long-term damage. It's too soon to say.
"It's very sensitive, very tender. We will look at him and make a judgement on him closer to the time. But no [he's not been ruled out for Saturday]. If there is a potential for him to be involved that will be great. If there isn't, we will obviously be disappointed. But we will give the player every chance."
Eduardo Herrera should also be available despite suffering a facial knock in another clash with Kipre, while Josh Windass returns from suspension.
However, skipper Lee Wallace has had to admit defeat in his bid to return from groin trouble in time for the derby battle, while Jak Alnwick, Graham Dorrans (both ankle), Kenny Miller (hamstring) and Jordan Rossiter (knee) are still out.
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Celtic have not lost to old rivals Rangers in the league since March 2012 (3-2), winning five of the six such meetings since (D1) and scoring 18 goals in those encounters.
Indeed, you have to go back to October 2010 to find the last time Rangers won at Celtic Park in the Scottish Premiership, losing four of their five visits since (D1) whilst scoring just two goals in total.
Since losing their 56-game unbeaten run in the top-flight at Hearts, Celtic have won three consecutive games without conceding a single goal. They are yet to win four consecutive Scottish Premiership fixtures this season, and haven't won four in a row in the division without letting in a goal since November 2016 (a run of six games).
Rangers have scored more goals away from home than any other Scottish Premiership side this season (23).
Leigh Griffiths has scored a goal in each of his last two league games against Rangers, including in the Hoops' 2-0 win earlier this season.