Rangers vs Celtic: Who are the players that may decide Sunday's Old Firm game?

Rangers have won five of the last six meetings between the sides; Celtic go into the match at Ibrox having recorded consecutive 6-0 league victories; watch the game live on Sky Sports Football & Main Event from 11am; kick-off at noon

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James McFadden picks out the key players that could make a difference on Sunday at Ibrox

For the first time in 610 days Rangers and Celtic will go head to head in front of a packed stadium - but which side will hold their nerve in the opening Old Firm game of the season?

Both squads have greatly changed since the last time the Glasgow giants collided in front of fans as Steven Gerrard's side won 2-1 at Celtic Park in December 2019.

Rangers have not lost in this fixture since but are likely to face their toughest test to date with several key players set to miss out following a Covid-19 outbreak.

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Across Glasgow, the Ange Postecoglou era is well under way at Parkhead with several of the Australian's summer signings impressing as Celtic recovered from an opening-day defeat at Hearts with consecutive 6-0 victories in the league.

So who will come out on top this Sunday? Well, we asked former Scotland international James McFadden to pick the players he believes will be key for each side if they are to win the first Old Firm match of the season...

Alfredo Morelos

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Take a look at some of Alfredo Morelos' goals in the Scottish Premiership last season

He leads the line for Rangers very well. He has come back from international duty and is getting himself into good positions this season and has looked very sharp. Morelos has added more to his game too, he can come short, he can link up and he can still be that threat in behind. His movement and anticipation is really good too as we saw at Ross County. I also believe this season he looks sharper than before, I think he's adding more to his game and he's improving. He will be a key player for Rangers.

Joe Aribo

Joe Aribo (left) celebrates after scoring Rangers' opening goal in their 4-2 win at Ross County
Image: Joe Aribo (left) celebrates after scoring Rangers' opening goal in their 4-2 win at Ross County

Joe Aribo for me this season has been one of Rangers' best players. He can play in a number of positions, he's intelligent, he just wants to get on the ball and he can make things happen. He wants to go forward, he's not just happy getting a touch laying it back, keeping possession, he wants to affect the game. He's great at carrying the ball and traveling with it and will be key on Sunday at Ibrox for Steven Gerrard's side.

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Kyogo Furuhashi

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Kyogo Furuhashi scored a hat-trick as Celtic thrashed Dundee 6-0 at Parkhead

Usually, it takes players a long time to settle in a new league, but I think it's his attitude that has helped him hit the ground running. He works so hard for the team and his movement is excellent. He just has a desire to get across the front of the defender and his movement is incredible.

He wants to get in behind and wants to break the line of the defence. I just like his attitude and his enthusiasm - he is just relentless. His desire to get in the box and score goals is ridiculous and his movement is really top level. He's made an instant impact, he's a hero to the Celtic fans already and you can see why.

David Turnbull

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David Turnbull scored a hat-trick as Celtic beat St Mirren

David Turnbull is an intelligent footballer, he always just seems to be in space and that is not by luck. He looks to make things happen, he wants to play killer passes and wants to go forward. But saying that you need to make the runs, and Celtic are doing that and they're getting the best out of him by doing so, because he knows where the space is.

He's just got so much to his game, he was a shining light for Celtic last season in what was a poor season and he's shown again this season what he can do. He's picking up great areas, he wants to go forward, gets his shots away and he's adding so much to his game. He had a sticky spell at the start of the season - like all of the team did - but he's coming through that.

Prediction?

I think there'll be goals in it, both teams like to attack, and Rangers had a great defensive record last season but not so much this season. Celtic still have that vulnerability from the counter-attack because of the way they go forward. So I'm going to go for goals and excitement and I hope I'm right because I'm looking forward to it.

Pick your combined Old Firm XI

Who would you pick in a combined Rangers and Celtic XI? Well you can have your say by using the team selector below and sharing your predictions with us on Twitter @ScotlandSky...

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