It’s Rangers’ greatest begin to a marketing campaign in 53 years and Steven Gerrard’s staff look formidable of their quest to halt Celtic’s march to an unprecedented tenth title in a row.
Chasing Celtic nonetheless have two video games in hand, however is the problem from their Previous Agency rivals higher than in current seasons?
Rangers progress as Celtic regress
Firstly, let’s take a look at the distinction from final 12 months.
Rangers sit atop the Premiership this time period with 41 factors from 15 matches. That is three greater than on the identical level final marketing campaign.
In the meantime Celtic have garnered 30 factors from 13 video games this time period, final 12 months their tally after the identical quantity of fixtures was 34, that means Lennon’s males are 4 factors worse off.
The Parkhead aspect’s stats are additionally poorer relating to objectives. They’ve netted six fewer this season and conceded six extra in comparison with final time period.
Rangers have netted 4 fewer objectives this season in comparison with the identical level a 12 months in the past, however their defence has been a lot tighter, conceding simply three objectives to this point, having let in 10 after 15 video games in 2019-20. The Ibrox aspect are but to let in a single aim at dwelling in eight matches this season.
Main the scoring charts for Rangers is captain James Tavernier. The proper-back can also be the league’s prime aim scorer with 9 strikes, and has additionally been concerned in 36% of all of his aspect’s Premiership objectives, an unbelievable contribution from a full-back.
“Rangers are like a steam practice constructing momentum and, if it goes on, will probably be troublesome for anybody to cease them,” stated former Rangers participant Richard Foster.
Throughout town, in the meantime, Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard has not fairly replicated his glowing kind for the French Underneath-21s in inexperienced and white. After scoring a hat-trick on the opening weekend, he has added simply two objectives since, together with in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Hibs.
Stats favour Gerrard’s males
That was only a fast snapshot, however let’s delve deeper, lets?
Stats gurus at Opta paint a defensive image that can please Gerrard, and depart counterpart Neil Lennon scratching his head. Rangers have stored 17 clear sheets this season in all competitions, eight greater than Celtic, and it is clear to see why that could be the case.
Whereas continuity on the again and commanding midfield showings imply possibilities for Rangers’ opponents are at a premium, accidents and below-par defensive showings are costing Celtic for the time being, with the jury nonetheless out on defender Shane Duffy and keeper Vasilis Barkas after inauspicious begins to their Parkhead careers.
Within the Premiership, Lennon’s defending champions have confronted 113 photographs from opponents in comparison with Rangers’ 70, with 32 of them on track over the 22 aimed toward their rivals’ aim. That is 38% and 31% extra, respectively.
Going ahead, it is a comparable story. The stats present Rangers are way more potent in assault.
Gerrard’s staff have had 52 extra photographs at aim (285) and 10 further on track in comparison with Celtic (104).
They’re additionally get the ball into the field way more usually. Rangers have swung in 275 crosses from open play – 64 of them profitable – in comparison with Celtic’s 216 – 46 profitable.
What these figures present is that the present league leaders get into positions to shoot and cross extra usually, though their success fee with the previous is barely decrease at 4% much less.
Is it too early to inform?
Many Celtic followers will level to having been on this film earlier than. Final time period each side had been degree on the flip of the 12 months however Celtic had been 13 factors forward when the season was referred to as.
Lennon and a few of the membership’s supporters will level to their expertise, and it has laborious to argue. In any case, they’re veterans relating to going the space in campaigns, and if they’ll maintain maintain of the likes of Edouard and Ryan Christie within the January switch window, then you definitely would nonetheless anticipate them to complete strongly.
It is value considering, too, that their current stoop has come on the again of a run of powerful fixtures together with 4 away video games – three towards sides you’d anticipate to be pushing for third spot – and an Previous Agency derby.
Nevertheless, it’s clear from the statistics that this Rangers staff is posing a a lot higher risk, and their problem must be written off at your peril.
“The extent of utility [from Celtic] is poor,” stated former Rangers and Scotland midfielder Neil McCann. “Not all of them, however sure gamers.
“If they do not perceive the historical past Celtic stand on simply now, they should not be carrying a Celtic jersey.
“It is okay having video games in hand however you must win them. And with the way in which Celtic are taking part in simply now, you may’t assure that can occur.”