The Old Firm.

The date everyone goes straight to the calendar to check is almost here. These games are always important. This one is likely to be season-defining.

In seasons gone by things have never been this close. You’d probably have to go back to Walter’s time in charge to find an Old Firm title race this tight heading into the final stretch of the campaign. Considering Celtic’s dominance in the league over the last decade, at no point has a Rangers win in this fixture potentially meant so much.

Even during the 55 season, the league was already well won by the time this fixture rolled around.

If Rangers manage to keep the points at Ibrox on Sunday then the league title is in our hands and our grasp. A defeat at Parkhead wouldn’t matter if six other victories were secured. If Celtic win, they will go four clear and place all the pressure on Clement’s side, who have a game in hand the following Wednesday. That would mean going to Parkhead likely needing three points.

A victory for either side will set the wheels in motion for claiming the title. The stakes have never been higher.

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So how can Rangers make sure they’re the group celebrating come Sunday afternoon?

We welcome a Celtic team starting to hit their stride with key players returning to form. Callum McGregor and Reo Hatate coming back into the middle makes a big difference in that battle while a back five of Joe Hart, Greg Taylor, Alasdair Johnston, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Liam Scales picks itself. The away side probably travels across the city with their strongest side and a clean bill of health.

But there are holes in that team, as strong as it might be in other areas. While this Celtic side have been there and done it in this fixture, they’re not as strong as in previous seasons. Players such as Jota and Liel Abada, who had a huge say in Old Firms gone by, are no longer at the club.

The defence is weak and can be exploited. In this writer’s view, Scales can be targeted while there’s joy to be had running at either full-back. Celtic also have a vulnerability defending set-pieces but that's not an area in which Rangers are currently thriving.

The key will be stopping the visitors in midfield - McGregor will control that area if Rangers allow it.

Clement’s back five is also fairly predictable. If Ridvan Yilmaz wins his fitness battle he’ll be the only change from the weekend. Having performed well in the last meeting at Parkhead and being one of Rangers’ best players of recent months, the return of Ridvan would provide a huge boost.

The midfield is an area with choices that we must get right. John Lundstram has performed really well as of late and next to him, I’d opt for Dujon Sterling to close down Matt O’Reilly and Hatate, leaving the No.10 to battle it out with McGregor.

That player is Todd Cantwell. Speaking kindly, he wasn’t at it during the New Year fixture but truth be told the 26-year-old didn't look fully fit.

This is his shot at redemption - I’d back Cantwell to grab the opportunity.

The attack is where this game will be won and lost. If and when we get chances, please take them Rangers. In both defeats this season Sam Lammers and Cyriel Dessers have missed the very definition of guilt-edged opportunities. That simply cannot happen again if Rangers are to claim a victory.

Dessers will start for me and rightly so. The No.9's form is good enough with 12 goals in 14 league appearances under Clement and like Cantwell, this is a shot at redemption. Fail to grab it and many will never forgive the big striker.

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Clement has other tricky calls to make. Fabio Silva hasn’t been undroppable on the left and this writer would gamble and start Abdallah Sima on that side to provide pace and penetration.

The right-sided selection is no clearer. Ross McCausland seems unlikely to play from the off on his journey back from injury. If Sterling is operating in the middle that leaves one of Tom Lawrence and Scott Wright to make up the numbers.

Wright did well against Hibs without being outstanding and up again Taylor, may be the best option. With Oscar Cortes out, who else plays there?

That starting 11 would leave plenty of options from the bench. Rabbi Matondo has made positive impacts as a substitute this season, we all know what Kemar Roofe could do, Silva can come on at No.9 and Mohamed Diomande is the obvious choice to shore up midfield.

Even still, I’m changing my mind. Sterling on the right wing with Diomande playing at the base of midfield is probably more likely. I’d fancy seeing Sterling handed the autonomy to play centre-mid, but Clement is likely to pick Diomande.

Whoever takes their chances will be victorious and Rangers have to step up in this regard. Only a clinical version of this team wins on Sunday.

Rangers have failed to win the games that have really mattered in recent years for various reasons. Now is the time to change that and now is the time to step up. We are most definitely capable and we most definitely can do it.

It’s sink or swim time. Everyone believes in the manager - it's now up to the players to show they can grab hold of this title race.

Ibrox will be full and passionate, let's deliver in the stands and on the field.

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