Celtic vs Rangers: Who would feature in a combined Old Firm XI based on stats?

Celtic host Rangers in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday; Brendan Rodgers’ side lead by three points with three games to go; Celtic won the first two meetings before a 3-3 draw at Ibrox last month; watch the Old Firm live on Sky Sports from 11.30am, kick-off 12.30pm

Image: Liam Scales and Todd Cantwell feature in the Old Firm combined XI

Ahead of Saturday’s Old Firm clash as Celtic take on Rangers in the Scottish Premiership, WhoScored take a look at how a stats based XI would shape up.

Just three points separate the pair with three games to go in a clash Rangers cannot afford to lose at Celtic Park.

Ahead of the match – live on Sky Sports – WhoScored.com have named their combined XI using a unique rating system with opta data and over 200 stats going into formulating their rating, and it’s Celtic who edge out Rangers in this side.

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Relive all the goals from this season’s Old Firm matches as Celtic and Rangers prepare to go head to head on Saturday.

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Goalkeeper: Jack Butland (Rangers) – 6.73 rating

Image: Jack Butland joined Rangers last summer

Jack Butland gets the nod ahead of Joe Hart between the sticks in the Old Firm combined XI. Butland has been the more active of the two goalkeepers, making 70 saves to Hart’s 58, and the Rangers man has kept more clean sheets (18) than any other ‘keeper in the division this season.

Right-back: James Tavernier (Rangers) – 7.89 rating

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James Tavernier has scored 17 Premiership goals for Rangers this season

With a WhoScored.com rating of 7.89, James Tavernier is the best rated player in the Scottish Premiership this season. Tavernier has scored 17 goals and provided an additional nine assists for the Gers, a fine haul for a right-back. With 117 key passes, that far and away is the most in Scotland’s top tier this term.

Centre-back: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic) – 7.11 rating

Image: Cameron Carter-Vickers agreed a new long-term deal at Celtic this season

It’s an all-Celtic centre-back partnership, with Cameron Carter-Vickers good value for his inclusion. The USA international ranks second for both passes per game (82.2) and pass success rate (91.2 per cent) in the Scottish Premiership.

Centre-back: Liam Scales (Celtic) – 7.33 rating

Image: Liam Scales spent last season on loan at Aberdeen

Linking up with Carter-Vickers at the heart of the defence is Liam Scales, who is averaging more passes per game (99.1) than any other player in the division this season. Having enjoyed a solid loan spell with Aberdeen last season, Scales has consolidated his starting spot with the Bhoys.

Left-back: Greg Taylor (Celtic) – 7.09 rating

Image: Celtic defender Greg Taylor has made 30 Premiership appearances this season

Rounding off the defence is Greg Taylor, who has earned a WhoScored.com rating of 7.09 this season. The 26-year-old has been a solid performer for Brendan Rodgers’ side once more this term, with four goals and three assists boosting his rating.

Central midfield: Matt O’Riley (Celtic) – 7.68 rating

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Matt O’Riley has 13 goals and 11 assists for Celtic in the league

Celtic’s best rated player in the Scottish Premiership this season, Matt O’Riley is the only player to have registered double figures for both goals (14) and assists (12) in 2023/24, the latter ranking top in the division.

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Central midfield: John Lundstram (Rangers) – 7.07 rating

Image: Rangers' John Lundstram is out of contract at the end of the season

John Lundstram has enjoyed a solid season for Rangers, as evidenced by a WhoScored.com rating of 7.07. The 30-year-old is averaging more passes per game (73.8) than any other central midfielder, that the third most overall, and has an additional five assists to his name.

Central midfield: Callum McGregor (Celtic) – 7.06 rating

Image: Celtic captain Callum McGregor

Callum McGregor joins O’Riley and Lundstram in the midfield in this combined XI having returned a WhoScored.com rating of 7.06. McGregor has impressed in the middle of the park for the Bhoys once more, with a pass success rate of 91.5 per cent top in the Scottish Premiership.

Right wing: Todd Cantwell (Rangers) – 6.95 rating

Image: Todd Cantwell has five league goals for Rangers this season

Todd Cantwell hasn’t exactly lit up the Scottish Premiership in his first full campaign in Glasgow but the former Norwich man has still done enough to land a WhoScored.com rating of 6.95. Indeed, Cantwell has scored five and assisted four for the Gers.

Striker: Cyriel Dessers (Rangers) – 6.96 rating

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Despite scoring 20 goals this season, Rangers’ Cyriel Dessers still seems to be receiving criticism – but is it justified?

After a slow start to life at Rangers, Cyriel Dessers looked a far more effective forward once Philippe Clement took over at Ibrox. Dessers heads into Saturday’s Old Firm with 14 goals and three assists to his name, a solid return, with one of the latter coming against Celtic last month.

Left wing: Luis Palma (Celtic) – 7.33 rating

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Luis Palma has six Premiership goals for Celtic this season

A muscle injury may have dented Luis Palma’s debut campaign for Celtic but the Honduran has proven a solid pick up by the Bhoys. Palma has scored six and laid on nine assists for team-mates this season, while 45 successful dribbles ranks fifth in the Scottish Premiership.

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