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Celtic host Rangers on Saturday in what could be a season-defining cinch Premiership encounter.

Here are some of the key talking points ahead of the lunchtime kick-off.

Title up for grabs

The lead in the Premiership table has switched hands at key moments this season. Philippe Clement got Rangers on top after being installed in October with Celtic seven points ahead. The Belgian oversaw a significant turnaround that put Rangers in the driving seat but defeats against Motherwell, Ross County and a draw against Dundee have seen them fall three points and five goals behind the champions.

A home win would leave the 60,000 fans celebrating the title – even if it is not officially secured – a draw would leave Celtic in command with two games left but a Rangers win would blow the title race wide open.

Celts have the upper hand

Rangers v Celtic
Celtic’s Callum McGregor celebrates at Ibrox in September (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Brendan Rodgers has 12 derby wins under his belt and only one defeat while Clement is looking for his first win after a 2-1 defeat at Parkhead and 3-3 draw at Ibrox. The Light Blues have not won at Celtic Park since October 2020.

The Hoops also won in Govan in September, with their derby record proving the difference in the title race so far.

Davies thrust into the fray

Rangers v Kilmarnock
Ben Davies celebrates his goal against Kilmarnock (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Centre-back Ben Davies came on for the second half of Rangers’ 4-1 win over Kilmarnock last week after Leon Balogun injured his back and with Connor Goldson ruled out. The 28-year-old had become a forgotten man, with his last start coming against Real Betis on December 14.

The former Preston and Liverpool player scored his first Rangers goal against Killie but it will be his defensive qualities which will be tested at Celtic Park as he has to contend with the pace and sharpness of Kyogo Furuhashi, who has proven to be a constant threat to the Ibrox side and netted his first double of the season last weekend.

Will Dessers get his first derby goal?

Cyriel Dessers reacts after a goal against Celtic is ruled out
Cyriel Dessers reacts after a goal against Celtic is ruled out (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Cyriel Dessers has become an Ibrox enigma since signing from Cremonese last summer. He has notched a commendable 20 goals but most observers agree it should be many more. Gers fans were left frustrated again last week against Kilmarnock with the Nigeria international’s hesitancy on several occasions to get a shot away. They remember the chance he had at Celtic Park last December when he ran through and inexplicably refused to shoot before eventually getting tackled by Alistair Johnston.

Dessers has caused Celtic problems and had the ball in the net against the Hoops in the 3-3 draw at Ibrox in April only for an earlier infringement to rule it out. However, Gers striker are judged on goals against their Glasgow neighbours and it is time to deliver.

Can Cantwell walk the walk?

Todd Cantwell, left, and Callum McGregor interact
Todd Cantwell, left, and Callum McGregor interact (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Rangers midfielder Todd Cantwell pushed Celtic captain Callum McGregor following the conclusion of last month’s draw and later claimed he “probably” wanted to win more than his rival. The former Norwich player has won two English Championship titles and a Scottish League Cup but McGregor has proven his winning desire with 20 major trophies.

McGregor has dictated play in recent derbies but was rushed back from injury to play off the bench at Ibrox last month, while Cantwell’s social media comment of “a bird can’t fly in a cage” was interpreted in some quarters as a dig at Clement after he was substituted against Killie.