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Celtic handed injury boost ahead of Old Firm Derby showdown

Celtic have a big test ahead of them this afternoon as they take on their Glasgow rivals, Rangers, in the first Old Firm Derby of the SPFL season.

The Hoops are heading into this match off the back of a blistering 9-0 league win over Dundee United at the weekend, followed by their 4-1 win over Ross County in the Scottish League Cup.

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Looking ahead to today’s game at Celtic Park, it seems as though Ange Postecoglou’s side have been handed an injury boost that could impact their chance of securing a victory over their close rivals.

What’s the news?

Speaking in his latest press conference, Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst revealed that Tom Lawrence will not feature in today’s clash and will be out for a few weeks after picking up a knee injury.

Rangers signed the Welshman during the recent summer transfer window on a free deal from Derby County.

During his time with the Rams, Lawrence ended up scoring 37 goals and delivering 25 assists in 185 appearances across all competitions.

A big relief for Postecoglou

Since moving to Ibrox, the 28-year-old has made nine appearances for the club across the SPFL and Champions League qualifying games.

In those nine appearances, the former Derby star has found the net three times and delivered two assists, showing how much of an attacking and creative danger he is.

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To further highlight his attacking talent, only Matt O’Riley (3.6) has a higher average for shots per game in the league this season than Lawrence (3.4) in the whole division.

With all of that in mind, it’s clear that Rangers will have to make do without one of their main attacking threats this afternoon, which will surely be a relief to Postecoglou and diminish the away side’s chances of securing a victory.

However, with the Ibrox club only conceding two more goals than Celtic in the league this season and having made more successful tackles (45 vs 38) and interceptions (30 vs 29) than Postecoglou’s side, the Hoops will still need to be on their best attacking form if they want to make sure they don’t drop any points and continue their winning run of form.

Article title: Celtic handed injury boost ahead of Old Firm Derby showdown

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