Rangers vs Celtic preview: Allan McGregor suspended for Old Firm clash
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Last Updated: 12/05/19 5:12pm
Rangers will be without first-choice goalkeeper Allan McGregor for the final Old Firm derby of the season on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
The former Scotland number one will have to sit out the Ibrox clash with Neil Lennon's Celtic after he was sent off for kicking out at Hibernian striker Marc McNulty last weekend.
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Fringe men Kyle Lafferty, Lee Wallace and Eros Grezda are also ruled out with knocks as they join Gareth McAuley, Graham Dorrans and Jamie Murphy (both knee) on the absentee list.
Since the two sides last met in a fiery encounter at the end of March, Rangers have won all five of their Scottish Premiership games and manager Steven Gerrard says the game still has meaning despite final positions already being confirmed.
"All the players are aware it is a big game for the supporters with the rivalry and all the history which has gone before," he said.
"After the last Old Firm, which we played really in and felt as if we should have taken something from, we have stressed the importance of trying to finish the season as strongly as we can and really focus on this season."
Celtic clinched their eighth successive Scottish Premiership title last week with a 3-0 win at Aberdeen, and interim manager Neil Lennon has claimed Rangers have a "huge disciplinary problem" ahead of Sunday's game.
He said: "It's not my problem that they have a huge disciplinary problem and if it manifests itself again on Sunday then we will try to take advantage.
"Scott Brown is always important. It is a big game and he is a big game player. It is very easy to say Scott Brown will be playing on Sunday. We are the champions and we have to play and act like champions."
Lennon will assess a number of his Celtic squad ahead of the Scottish Premiership clash. Kieran Tierney will have an operation on a double hernia at the end of the domestic season and the Hoops interim boss will decide how many of the final three games of the campaign he will play.
Ryan Christie (face), Jack Hendry, Vakoun Bayo, Dedryck Boyata (all hamstring), Craig Gordon, Eboue Kouassi and Daniel Arzani (all knee) are out, while Leigh Griffiths is back training after dealing with personal issues but has no chance of featuring at Ibrox.
Rangers will be looking to earn back-to-back home league wins over Celtic for the first time since March 2012 after beating them 1-0 in December 2018.
Celtic have won nine of the last 12 Old Firm derbies in the Scottish Premiership (D2 L1), including four of the last five (L1).
Rangers have won each of their last five Scottish Premiership matches, they last went on a longer run in the top-flight in October 2011 (9 games).
Since losing to Rangers at the Ibrox in December, Celtic have remained unbeaten in 16 league games (W13 D3), scoring 29 goals and conceding just three.
Celtic have picked up 19 points from a possible 21 in their last seven Scottish Premiership away trips (W6 D1), conceding just one goal.
Rangers' Kyle Lafferty has scored in four of his last five league appearances against Celtic (four goals), including each of his last three at home - all for previous club Hearts.
Rangers forward Alfredo Morelos has faced Celtic more times without yet scoring in the Scottish Premiership (seven) than any other opponent; he was sent off in the most recent Old Firm derby in March, his fourth league red card of 2018-19.
Celtic's Odsonne Edouard has been directly involved in six goals in five appearances in Old Firm derbies in the Scottish Premiership (four goals, two assists), including netting the opener and assisting the winner the last time Celtic and Rangers met in March.