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on and off the pitch

Derby County fans – and players – were in a fighting mood on Sunday as they spoke out on and off the pitch. (Author: Gardener)

Derby CountyDerby County: Fans protest and team shows struggle in battle to save club and avoid relegationDerbyDerby have had 21 points deducted this season but Wayne Rooney's side are making a valiant attempt to stay in the championship at Pride Parkway. "We're Derby County, we'll fight to the end," they sang. Many drove their cars to the stadium and then walked back into the city center to meet in the meeting rooms for the 11:30 start last. A Football League extension means the club's administrators have another month to prove they have sufficient financial evidence to see them through to the end of the season, a home game against Cardiff City on Saturday 7 May . The expectation is somehow they will make it. There is no end in sight to the derby fans' turmoil since owner Mel Morris placed the club under management in September. He was no longer willing to fund the escalating debt which, even if 'compressed' and only a percentage offered, still leaves a potential owner considering a £70million investment for a club likely to be in next season fans have many aspirations for their club in the state it is in. There is Morris, whose ambition to lead the Rams to the Premier League has not faltered despite numerous breaches of football's financial rules. There's also the Football League to rule that Middlesbrough and Wycombe's £60million compensation claims, if proven, would be seen as a football debt and would have to be paid in full. And there's Middlesbrough owner Steve Gibson, who believes Derby's accounting practices robbed his club of a play-off spot and potential promotion to the top flight in 2019. But as much as the march was an attack on those who they felt were doing their club down, this was really about supporting a football club. Thousands demonstrated in support of their association. Generations of fans peacefully asserted their point of view. Everyone walked behind a banner that read: "Founder Member of the Football League. 138 years of football heritage. Save Derby County.” Inside the floor revealed a capacity of 32,000. Almost everyone supported the team, although as it was football the Birmingham fans chanted 'we'll have a party when Derby County dies' after the 2-0 lead. It seemed a bit odd as there are many issues at St Andrew's that should have created some sort of kinship, even among Midlands rivals. Wayne Rooney was called in for an interview for the Everton manager's job but declined the opportunity given how the game was unfolding in Derby's season as a whole. It was quite unbelievable that Polish defender Krystian Bielik, whose £8million move from Arsenal in 2019 caused one of the "football debts" Derby must pay in full, scored the equalizer in added time and in the act of celebrating suffer a shoulder injury severe enough to be helped off the field. Rooney's roster included four teenagers. One of them, Luke Plange, scored the opening goal of Derby's comeback 2-0 with three minutes remaining, and another, Malcolm Ebiowei, who has never played a first-team game is not easy, the hero is straightforward. Wayne Rooney has handled the season so far with immense professionalism. His status was already high in the eyes of Derby fans even before he confirmed on Friday that he had turned down an opportunity to speak to youth club Everton about his manager's job. His name was chanted at regular intervals on the march and hundreds of fans waited until well after the final whistle to celebrate Manchester United and England's record goalscorer as Rooney conducted his post-match interview off the pitch. "Things happen for a reason," Rooney said. “There were no Premier League games this weekend and our game was on Sky. It was almost a reminder that this is a huge club with a huge fan base. I know the admins are working hard for this. The people above me, Middlesbrough, Wycombe and the EFL, they have to be sensible. People's livelihoods are at stake.” What happens now? will formally confirm their offers pending more clarity on Middlesbrough and Wycombe's claims. This is clearly a major stumbling block. However, there are others. HMRC are owed £28million and while there are hopes a deal can be struck to reduce that liability, it is yet to be agreed. And then there is the stadium. His sale of Derby to Morris has sparked much resentment around the club despite being ruled in line with EFL rules and other clubs have followed the same strategy to create greater spending flexibility. However, this means that the stadium is not part of the management process. But if he wanted to, Morris could strike a private deal with MSD and a third party for the stadium, which would significantly reduce the football club's value. The published minutes say Morris has given "assurances" regarding the sale, but BBC Sport has been told that Morris has had non-worker representatives at meetings between potential buyers and the administrators, as his status as stadium owner allows. And while there's no doubt Morris has lost more than £100million through his ownership of Derby, some are wondering if he should now offer to pay off some of MSD's liability to bring the club's overall price down, which, apart of the situations at Middlesbrough and Wycombe, is perceived as prohibitive. Sunday was a reminder that what will happen on and off the pitch in the coming months is far from certain. But for now, derby fans can take solace in knowing their team, having deducted 21 points, are just seven points from surviving the championship and battling all the way. Your supporters will continue to do so. What are the biggest rumors as the deadline approaches? Would you like to book a holiday this year? Here are some do's and don'ts for booking your overseas travel NFL Conference Championships: Bengals beat Chiefs in overtime to reach the Super Bowl; Building on Rams-49ers Elsewhere on the BBC'I was a millionaire and I wanted to kill myself'Paul Merson talks about his gambling addiction and explores why footballers are more prone to itHow to follow your Premier League team on the BBCEverything you need to know to make sure you don't miss a moment. The latest rumors and stories from around the world of football. Analysis and opinions from our chief football writer. How to Get into Football How to Get into Football - the world's most popular sport with clubs and facilities across the UK.

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on and off the pitch

Derby County fans – and players – were in a fighting mood on Sunday as they spoke out on and off the pitch. (Author: Gardener)

Derby CountyDerby County: Fans protest and team shows struggle in battle to save club and avoid relegationDerbyDerby have had 21 points deducted this season but Wayne Rooney's side are making a valiant attempt to stay in the championship at Pride Parkway. "We're Derby County, we'll fight to the end," they sang. Many drove their cars to the stadium and then walked back into the city center to meet in the meeting rooms for the 11:30 start last. A Football League extension means the club's administrators have another month to prove they have sufficient financial evidence to see them through to the end of the season, a home game against Cardiff City on Saturday 7 May . The expectation is somehow they will make it. There is no end in sight to the derby fans' turmoil since owner Mel Morris placed the club under management in September. He was no longer willing to fund the escalating debt which, even if 'compressed' and only a percentage offered, still leaves a potential owner considering a £70million investment for a club likely to be in next season fans have many aspirations for their club in the state it is in. There is Morris, whose ambition to lead the Rams to the Premier League has not faltered despite numerous breaches of football's financial rules. There's also the Football League to rule that Middlesbrough and Wycombe's £60million compensation claims, if proven, would be seen as a football debt and would have to be paid in full. And there's Middlesbrough owner Steve Gibson, who believes Derby's accounting practices robbed his club of a play-off spot and potential promotion to the top flight in 2019. But as much as the march was an attack on those who they felt were doing their club down, this was really about supporting a football club. Thousands demonstrated in support of their association. Generations of fans peacefully asserted their point of view. Everyone walked behind a banner that read: "Founder Member of the Football League. 138 years of football heritage. Save Derby County.” Inside the floor revealed a capacity of 32,000. Almost everyone supported the team, although as it was football the Birmingham fans chanted 'we'll have a party when Derby County dies' after the 2-0 lead. It seemed a bit odd as there are many issues at St Andrew's that should have created some sort of kinship, even among Midlands rivals. Wayne Rooney was called in for an interview for the Everton manager's job but declined the opportunity given how the game was unfolding in Derby's season as a whole. It was quite unbelievable that Polish defender Krystian Bielik, whose £8million move from Arsenal in 2019 caused one of the "football debts" Derby must pay in full, scored the equalizer in added time and in the act of celebrating suffer a shoulder injury severe enough to be helped off the field. Rooney's roster included four teenagers. One of them, Luke Plange, scored the opening goal of Derby's comeback 2-0 with three minutes remaining, and another, Malcolm Ebiowei, who has never played a first-team game is not easy, the hero is straightforward. Wayne Rooney has handled the season so far with immense professionalism. His status was already high in the eyes of Derby fans even before he confirmed on Friday that he had turned down an opportunity to speak to youth club Everton about his manager's job. His name was chanted at regular intervals on the march and hundreds of fans waited until well after the final whistle to celebrate Manchester United and England's record goalscorer as Rooney conducted his post-match interview off the pitch. "Things happen for a reason," Rooney said. “There were no Premier League games this weekend and our game was on Sky. It was almost a reminder that this is a huge club with a huge fan base. I know the admins are working hard for this. The people above me, Middlesbrough, Wycombe and the EFL, they have to be sensible. People's livelihoods are at stake.” What happens now? will formally confirm their offers pending more clarity on Middlesbrough and Wycombe's claims. This is clearly a major stumbling block. However, there are others. HMRC are owed £28million and while there are hopes a deal can be struck to reduce that liability, it is yet to be agreed. And then there is the stadium. His sale of Derby to Morris has sparked much resentment around the club despite being ruled in line with EFL rules and other clubs have followed the same strategy to create greater spending flexibility. However, this means that the stadium is not part of the management process. But if he wanted to, Morris could strike a private deal with MSD and a third party for the stadium, which would significantly reduce the football club's value. The published minutes say Morris has given "assurances" regarding the sale, but BBC Sport has been told that Morris has had non-worker representatives at meetings between potential buyers and the administrators, as his status as stadium owner allows. And while there's no doubt Morris has lost more than £100million through his ownership of Derby, some are wondering if he should now offer to pay off some of MSD's liability to bring the club's overall price down, which, apart of the situations at Middlesbrough and Wycombe, is perceived as prohibitive. Sunday was a reminder that what will happen on and off the pitch in the coming months is far from certain. But for now, derby fans can take solace in knowing their team, having deducted 21 points, are just seven points from surviving the championship and battling all the way. Your supporters will continue to do so. What are the biggest rumors as the deadline approaches? Would you like to book a holiday this year? Here are some do's and don'ts for booking your trip abroad. Vince leads England as they try to chase 180 to win T20 series against West Indies his gambling addiction and explores why footballers are more prone to itHow to follow your Premier League team on the BBCEverything you need to know to make sure Don't miss a moment.The latest rumors and stories from around the world of football.Analysis and opinion from our head football writer.How to Get into FootballHow to Get into Football - the world's most popular sport with clubs and institutions across the UK .

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Stalker 'visited Emma Raducanu's house three times'

Married Amrit Magar, 35, has traveled three times to the south-east London suburb where Miss Raducanu lives with her parents. He once drew a map of the 23 miles he had walked from Edgware. (Author: Gardener)

Emma Raducanu'sEmma Raducanu has said she no longer feels safe in her own home after a stalker visited it three times and stole her father's shoe as a "souvenir", a court heard yesterday. The 19-year-old US Open winner told police she was "constantly looking over her shoulder" after an obsessed former Amazon delivery man tracked down her address and left notes, flowers and even Christmas decorations. After seeing her unemployed on TV, married Amrit Magar, 35, traveled to the London suburb where Miss Raducanu lives with her parents and asked strangers for directions to her house. After finding the address, on one occasion he left a note saying the teenager "deserved love" and on another he drew a map depicting the 23 miles he had traveled from Edgware in north London walked in hopes of meeting her. On the most recent occasion on December 4, Magar decorated a tree in Miss Raducanu's front yard with Christmas lights and then stole a sneaker from the porch, thinking it belonged to the sports star. But it belonged to her father Ian, who recognized Magar from doorbell camera footage as someone who had previously visited the property and followed him in his car while he informed police. When arrested, Magar was found with the shoe in his pocket and told officers he "wanted a souvenir." Magar was found guilty of stalking in Bromley Magistrates' Court yesterday. In a statement read in court yesterday, Miss Raducanu said she was worried about going out alone. Speaking over the phone with officials while preparing for the Australian Open in Melbourne last month, the Grand Slam winner said: "Since all of this has happened I've felt like I've been snuck up. "Because of that, I feel like my freedom has been taken away from me. I feel nervous and worried that this might happen again. Miss Raducanu, who said she was worried "about the stress of the public knowing I had a stalker," added, "I want to move to a new house with better security because I'm worried that he could come back since he knows where my home is.' The court heard Magar first visited the Raducanu family home in south-east London on November 23. Arriving at the door with a bouquet of flowers and a note, he was confronted by Miss Raducanu's parents but said he was a delivery driver passing gifts from someone else. The note read, "Nothing to say but you deserve love" and was signed by Magar, who also added the names of his wife Bina and their dog Logan. The second time, on December 2, he dropped a red envelope into the mailbox containing a hand-drawn "map" showing the distance he had traveled from his home in Edgware to Miss Raducanu's address. One note read, "23 miles walked for you." Two days later, Magar revisited the property armed with strings of lights. After decorating a tree in the front yard, he sent the remaining lights and spare batteries through the mailbox before realizing the patio door was open. In a statement, Mr Raducanu said: "I received a notification on my phone from the Nest doorbell. Mr Raducanu then followed Magar to a nearby bus stop, where he called the police. Testifying yesterday, Magar said he was ashamed now that he knew he had upset her. Magar was released on bail for not contacting Miss Raducanu and her parents and visiting the street where they live. Miss Raducanu has been contacted for comment.

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Liel Abada's last minute punch sets up the Old Firm classic

Liel Abada fires 10-man Celtic to a crucial win over Dundee United while Rangers' lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership is cut to two points ahead of Wednesday's Old Firm clash; Watch free game highlights on Sky Sports digital platforms from 9pm on Saturday (Author: Gardener)

Liel Abada'sCeltic can rise to the top of the Cinch Premiership with a win over Rangers on Wednesday night after Liel Abada's last goal gave them a 1-0 win over Dundee United at Parkhead. The champions had blundered earlier in the day in a 3-3 draw with Ross County at Dingwall to take a five-point lead, but Ange Postecoglou's side spent most of the afternoon frustrated by the disciplined visitors . The triumph moved Celtic to two points ahead of Rangers ahead of the Old Firm game and a game that has traditionally been tense and hard fought has added an extra layer of intrigue. Anthony Ralston, Liam Scales and Abada returned to the starting line-up, while United boss Tam Courts announced the changes with Adrian Sporle, Nicky Clark, 19-year-old Archie Meekison, Ilmari Niskanen and 18-year-old Lewis Neilson starting. Before kick-off, Postecoglou and McGregor laid a wreath on the pitch in honor of the recently deceased Celtic manager Wim Jansen, before a minute's applause. United caused some concerns early on and in the seventh minute Sporle got close with a shot from inside the area which Hoops keeper Joe Hart was delighted to see sizzling past his far post. Moments later, United's Giorgos Giakoumakis' Calum Butcher thwarted as the 27-year-old Greek striker, who had scored in each of the last two games, was too slow to parry his shot. The well-organized defense was soon deep in their own half and in the 27th minute Abada worked his way into the United box but his close-range shot from an angle was blocked by Ben Siegrist. The keeper was then injured, preventing Giakoumakis from getting a clean shot on goal from Abada's low cross to the near post, but was reinstated after treatment. Siegrist then parried a decent long-range shot from Matt O'Riley and made his home debut after moving from MK Dons before the midfielder missed a huge chance, failing to find a James Forrest cross. The Scottish winger and Scales stayed inside at the break, replaced by loanee Portuguese winger Jota and left-back Josip Juranovic, and within moments Siegrist had saved O'Riley's header from a Jota cross. United replaced injured defender Scott McMann with Ross Graham and the visitors stuck to their defensive duties under mounting pressure, while Siegrist somehow managed to foot off a Giakoumakis shot from six yards out. In the 67th minute, Postecoglou opted for another double substitute, with Ralston and Reo Hatate making way for defender Greg Taylor and 16-year-old debutant Ben Doak. Parkhead was shaking with tension and nervousness as Celtic kept up the pace but with nine minutes left Bitton, who had earlier been cautioned for a foul on Tony Watt, was called home for a foul on United substitute Declan Glass just outside the Celtic box sent. There was one more twist and on death, Abada pulled Jota's cross out of the air and shot the ball up into the net. Celtic coach Ange Postecoglou: “It was probably just a continuation of the players' spirit and willingness to find a way. It wasn't a great day for us, especially in the first half when we didn't have the intensity and pace of our football to keep them under constant pressure." Dundee United boss Tam Courts: "I think we were probably ( worth a point) really well in terms of effort, player engagement and execution of a game plan. My only frustration is that we didn't maintain enough attacking power and caused a lot of problems for Celtic. "But in terms of effort and what we've done I think we deserved a point more than that, but Celtic will think that with their possession and the number of times they attacked our goal, they got the goal on deserve the end." Dundee United travel to Scottish Premier League rivals Dundee on Tuesday at 7.45pm before meeting Celtic host champions and league leaders Rangers in the Old Firm on Wednesday at 7.45pm – live on Sky Sports Football from 7pm.

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Celtic tipped to beat Rangers as Ange Postecoglou recruitment is celebrated

KENNY DALGLISH believes making bold predictions about the forthcoming Glasgow derby is risky but reckons his old side must be seen as slight favorites ahead of Wednesday night. (Author: Gardener)

GlasgowKENNY DALGLISH believes making bold predictions about the forthcoming Glasgow derby is risky but reckons his old side must be seen as slight favorites ahead of Wednesday night. Ange Postecoglou's men closed the gap on their rivals at the top of the table to two points after a day of dramatic Premiership action on Saturday. Matthew Wright's last-minute equalizer saw Rangers leave Dingwall with a single point, while Liel Abada's injury-time winner was enough for Celtic to defeat Dundee United at home. A win for the home side at Parkhead midweek would be enough to put Celtic ahead in the title race and Dalglish is hoping his old side will do just that. With so much at stake en route to the derby, the former Celtic striker expects a close game but after watching Wednesday's 2-1 win at Tynecastle he reckons they are ahead. "I would see Celtic as slight favorites to win this game," he wrote in his Sunday Post column. "I saw them against Hearts last midweek and they were impressive. It's never wise to pick a winner but I think home field advantage gives Celtic the edge when we go into the game." Postecoglou had a difficult start as Celtic manager, losing three of his first six league games and losing first place in the title race. Dalglish is certain it was Postecolglou's coaching skills that turned the tide, as the Liverpool man praised the Greek-Australian's eye for a player Ange for his coaching and managerial abilities," he continued. “Another of his signings, Reo Hatate, scored an outstanding goal, the kind of goal that knocks spectators out of their seats. "New signing Matt O'Riley seems like a real player and I was also impressed by Giorgos Giakoumakis. "Giakoumakis has had his time at Celtic constantly interrupted by injuries but he looks really good. “He had a great finish against Alloa in the Scottish Cup last weekend and followed that up with another brilliant execution on Wednesday and made a real name for himself in the Old Firm game. "If Ange hands him the role of centre-forward then the Greek striker seems to have him in his closet as a potential match-winner."

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4 Celtic vs Rangers head-to-heads that will decide a momentous derby including James McCarthy v Joe Aribo

Record Sport picks four of the best battles to watch out for on Wednesday night. (Author: Gardener)

James McCarthyIt's almost time for Glasgow's day of days and Wednesday's big derby between Celtic and Rangers will feature a series of ongoing clashes. There's plenty of subplots and feuds in a 22-strong cast, and this week will be no different. Both teams will miss some key players with injuries, suspensions and even international call-ups but that won't affect the quality of Wednesday night with so much at stake. These two sides are still immensely strong, which is evident at the top of the Premier League by the minute. Gio van Bronckhorst has a slight advantage but those two points will be lost with a defeat at Parkhead as Ange Postecoglou wants a win to top the table. On the other hand, an away win would mend damage done in January and restore Rangers' lead in the final months of the season. Could August's clash at Ibrox with Jota on the left and Kyogo Furuhashi in the middle have been a different story? It raises an important question, but of course the Rangers lacked their skipper, the heartbeat of the team. Tavernier has suffered a bit of a decline compared to last season but is still performing very well and has been helped by the managerial change. Teams learned how to exploit a gung-ho approach under Steven Gerrard, and his runs up front are chosen more carefully. But has he met an opponent of Jota's quality yet? If Tavernier is to remain calm, Jota will also need to do the dirty work, backtracking and helping Liam Scales or Greg Taylor at left-back. In the green corner: an aging defensive midfielder who was struggling with the intensity of Postecoglou's training and, given the circumstances, was obviously just a starting option for such a hectic game. In the blue corner: Rangers Player of the Year. Nir Bitton's red card at the weekend really puts a new spin on the midfield struggle and while Reo Hatate and Matt O'Riley have both looked good since their debuts, it's not entirely clear they would be fit for the holding role. We reckon Postecoglou would opt for the Irishman in that scenario - he sent for the veteran as soon as Bitton was sent off on Saturday - and if that's the case he has a job to do to keep Aribo in check to keep. It's a tough question for anyone, let alone someone who hasn't played much this season, but if he's got what it takes then this could be the moment he finally shows that Premier League class. Aribo's quick feet can create something out of thin air, and Van Bronckhorst loves getting him to run past the front line to cause some disruption. The season has yet to really take off for Kent after his incredible campaign last season. But those are two consecutive games in which he has set up big goals for Rangers, even if the result against Aberdeen or Ross County didn't go his way. He meets solid opponents in Croatia right-back Juranovic, who has been moved to left-back for the first derby of the season. Anthony Ralston kept his place at right-back as Greg Taylor suffered a shoulder injury and Liam Scales was signed at left-back just days before Juranovic. This time he should be on his preferred flank and while reliable on the left he can show his class on the right. The likelihood of Derby veteran McGregor being sacked after a couple of shots at Dingwall seems slim, especially given the incredible stops he made in that game last season. But in a 60,000-strong Parkhead cauldron, he needs to keep his head, and so does Hart on the other end. He's also capable of some world champions and loved by fans, but there have been some hairy moments where the former England international has had the ball at his feet. In any outfield encounter, it could be the performance of either of these two highly decorated goalies that decides the game – and gives a team the title in the running.

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The 5 Rangers dilemmas Giovanni van Bronckhorst faces ahead of Celtic clash

It was far from ideal preparation for an upcoming Old Firm encounter as Rangers held Ross County to a 3-3 draw at Dingwall on Saturday. (Author: Gardener)

Giovanni van BronckhorstIt was far from ideal preparation for an upcoming Old Firm encounter as Rangers held Ross County to a 3-3 draw at Dingwall on Saturday. Next up is a trip to Celtic for the much anticipated and belated New Year Old Firm Showdown. It's going to be a smash but manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst has some deep creases to iron out in his squad ahead of the game that will play a huge role in the Scottish Premiership title race. Allan McGregor had a Howler in the Highlands and was at fault for two of Ross County's three goals. McGregor was also to blame for County's 95th-minute equalizer when he failed to order his box and retrieve the ball after falling onto the six-yard line from a corner. No one can forget McGregor's stunning form last season that took Rangers to the title, but this season he's been far from that level. The Ibrox club had been linked with St Johnstone's Zander Clark and Dundee United's Benjamin Siegrist in early January but those moves appear to have gone quiet with just a day left of the transfer window. Jon McLaughlin yesterday signed a new contract that will keep him at the club until 2024 and it will be interesting to see if he is thrown into the action at Celtic Park on Wednesday. Joe Aribo returned to Rangers and started in the starting XI at Dingwall after being on international duty with Nigeria. There was talk of Aribo leaving Ibrox this January, but as mentioned, it looks like Gers fans will be able to enjoy him a little longer if there's a day outside the window. The left-hander, 25, delivered a killer assist and looked forward every time he got his foot on the ball. Aribo is a born winner and his presence and creativity in the final third will be key to some key games in the title race. Connor Goldson scored Rangers' third goal, which appeared to be the winner, before Ross County's Matthew Wright annulled it in stoppage time. The England defender slapped the Rangers badge as he made his way to away support and after the game Kris Boyd speculated it could be a sign he was staying with Van Bronckhorst's side. Goldson has been locked in talks with Rangers over a new contract for some time and has also been linked with numerous clubs in the South. Goldson's level of performance has suffered slightly due to his transfer uncertainty and Rangers need to strike a new deal as soon as possible if he has decided Ibrox is his future. Cedric Itten led the line for Rangers before being replaced by Kemar Roofe on the hour mark. At the other end, Ross County's Jordan White was fielded in a similar role, and his performance beat Itten's by a mile despite an apparent drop in serve from those around him, with Rangers enjoying more possession. Itten was recalled earlier this window from his loan spell at German club Greuther Furth while Alfredo Morelos was on international duty. The Colombian is expected to miss three games for his club, including Wednesday's crucial competition in Parkhead. Morelos will be a big miss and Itten will need to up his level if he gets the nod. Manchester United star Amad Diallo must have thought Scottish football was going to be easy as he scored the first goal of his Rangers loanee against Ross County in under five minutes. Instead, his team found themselves at the bottom of a sucker punch leveler that resulted in two crucial points being lost in the race for the Premiership trophy. Diallo looked menacing throughout and his precise control and skillful tricks will surely add another dimension to the Gers attack. The 19-year-old linked well in attack with Joe Aribo and Ryan Kent and also formed a decent partnership with James Tavernier on the right. The Rangers skipper hasn't bombed down the right flank as much as last season but Diallo's movement and coverage meant he was in the opposition box on numerous occasions, including for his 50th-minute goal. The extent of his knock is currently unknown but Rangers fans are hoping it's nothing serious as he could act as a surprise package on Wednesday night.

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Rangers and Celtic back to their old routine but Giovanni van Bronckhorst could be in for a draw

Old Firm fans have been starved by truly season-defining clashes with their fiercest rival. (Author: Gardener)

CelticOld Firm fans have been starved by truly season-defining clashes with their fiercest rival. Old Firm fans have been starved by truly season-defining clashes with their fiercest rival. Shifts in momentum in Scottish Premiership seasons have often translated into games between the two greats, but it's been a while since results have been of crucial importance. Shifts in momentum in Scottish Premiership seasons have often translated into games between the two greats, but it's been a while since results have been of crucial importance. In the past 10 seasons, the gap between champions and runners-up has averaged 18.3 points. Last season, Rangers finished Celtics 10-in-a-row hopes by a 25-point margin. But Wednesday's game at Celtic Park, originally the traditional New Year's derby but postponed due to the forced early winter break, has a different atmosphere. The form guide would suggest you couldn't split them up and even a supercomputer has given mixed news - forecasting a 55th Rangers title but Celtic will win narrowly on Wednesday. Rangers are in the lead but Celtic have their own momentum for their first midweek Old Firm game since 2011. One intriguing factor is that the two managers have a combined Old Firm game under their belt. Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou, who was linked with the Rangers job five years ago, brought 12 new faces into a rebuilding job in the summer but lost his first taste of the old firm's rivalry at Ibrox in August. In a city where managers are as much defined by their Old Firm record as silverware, the Aussie will be desperate to fix that in front of home fans. However, there is no doubt that Celtic are a different matter, unbeaten in the league since September and winning the League Cup on the side. With Steven Gerrard gone, Giovanni van Bronckhorst faces his toughest job yet as Rangers manager after 12 games unbeaten - including draws at Lyon and Aberdeen and conceding just three goals. The Dutchman has plenty of experience of Old Firm games as a Gers player, having won two league titles in his three seasons there, but he still bears the scars of some heavy defeats against Celtic during that period. There's no doubt that Rangers are harder to beat under him, breaking the bad habit of conceding the first goal. Under Gerrard, Rangers went to Celtic Park to win, but with playmaker Ianis Hagi out for the rest of the season and Alfredo Morelos on international duty, there's a hunch Van Bronckhorst would go for a draw - just like he did in Pittodrie last week.

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up to 6 Celtic exits, Rangers could sign Duo, Hearts, Hibs & Aberdeen in attacking market

The transfer window closes for Scottish Premiership clubs on Monday, with clubs looking to do business before the end of the market. We look at what's in store for each of the 12 Premiership clubs on deadline date... (Author: Gardener)

RangersThe transfer window closes for Scottish Premiership clubs on Monday, with clubs looking to do business before the end of the market. We look at what's in store for each of the 12 Premiership clubs on deadline day... © Celtic's Albian Ajeti and Osaze Urhogide could leave on deadline day. Dons boss Stephen Glass admitted it "would be nice" to make another addition to the attacking areas following the signing of Vicente Besuijen. Meanwhile, Leeds United were the latest side to be linked with Calvin Ramsay, with Bologna having turned down a significant offer from the club. Glass hoped to keep the player for the rest of the season. New arrivals at Parkhead are unlikely in the final hours of the window with Ange Postecoglou adding four players to his first-team squad, as well as the arrival of young striker Johnny Kenny. The exit door is where much of the focus will be, as a number of fringe players may depart. Vasilis Barkas and Albian Ajeti have been linked with departures, while Adam Montgomery, Ismaila Soro, Boli Bolingoli and Osaze Urhoghide could see departures either on a permanent basis or on loan. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group) (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group) Only Ross County have conceded more goals than Dens Park's side and McPake has been chasing down a centre-back where Celtic's Urhoghide fell through. Rickie Lamie has signed a preliminary contract and Dundee could be pushing to get him from Motherwell this month. The United boss has expressed his interest in Scotland international Kevin McDonald, who has trained with the club. Fuchs has proven to be a fantastic ball winner but United could look to add more creativity to create chances for Tony Watt. As things stand, the centre-back will stay at the club for the remainder of the season before moving to Rangers. If the Ibrox side make a suitable offer, Robbie Neilson could look to bring in another defender. At the other end of the field, the club are keen on another forward, a player who can be used in either of the wider or deeper attacking roles. © Scott Allan has been linked with a move from Hibs. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group) Shaun Maloney confirmed the club will "definitely be working hard to find a replacement for Martin Boyle" following the side's 3-2 home loss to Livingston. Regarding the profile, the Hibs boss said he was looking for someone with "speed" and a "one on one ability". There could also be departures at Easter Road, with Alex Gogic linked with a move to St Mirren and Scott Allan, also interesting clubs. Livi is now just two points adrift of the top six, with David Martindale bringing more firepower to his side in this window, bringing Caleb Chukwuemeka and Sebastian Soto on loan while Joel Nouble returns. Morgan Boyes and Ivan Konovalov have also been added so it could be a quiet deadline day in West Lothian. Graham Alexander has already lost his top scorer Tony Watt to Dundee United and is keen to retain Ricki Lamie, who has signed a pre-contract with Dundee. He said: "I still see Ricki as an important player for us for the rest of the season." The Ibrox side could make a few more signings before the market closes. They have already turned down an offer for Hearts centre-back John Souttar, who has signed a preliminary contract with the Scottish champions. After giving up three goals in Ross County, it could prompt the club to increase their bid. It is understood Rangers are also interested in Manchester City's highly-rated youthful midfielder James McAtee as a number of clubs pursue a loan deal. Malky Mackay was able to loan Declan Drysdale and Kayne Ramsay. The most important aspect of the final hours of the window will be holding on to league's top scorer Regan Charles-Cook. The ten-goal striker has been linked with Hibs and his contract expires at the end of the season. Canadian striker Theo Bair becomes Callum Davidson's sixth signing of January after Melker Hallberg, Tony Gallacher, Nadir Ciftci, Dan Cleary and John Mahon. They have expanded key positions and could mean a quiet last trading day for the club. Jim Goodwin admitted a certain envy about the transfer business and what St Mirren can do compared to league rivals. The Buddies have only signed New Zealand striker Alex Greive so far. They are reportedly keen on adding Hibs' Alex Gogic, while ties with Easter Road playmaker Scott Allan remain. Goodwin said earlier in the transfer window that he wanted to inject more pace into his squad.

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Celtic fans are a step ahead of Rangers and this Ibrox bottle crash will only make it worse

Andy Newport answers your calls after the champions failed to keep the win but their title rivals found a way to victory. (Author: Gardener)

CelticIt was the late, late show on Saturday as events in Dingwall and the east end of Glasgow increased the pressure on the leading Rangers ahead of this week's momentous Old Firm clash. While the champions failed to hold on to the win over Ross County after allowing Staggies sub Matty Wright to grab a point, Celtic pushed to the end to edge out Dundee United and close the gap to two points. Rangers lose two points in stoppage time and Celtic win in the 90th minute. The league table is looking good at the moment and the future looks bright for the green and whites." Liambirney, Paisley, said: "I just hope the Ross County groundsmen were doing well after forking the field after the game . After all, it was covered in glass after the Rangers crashed their bottle big again. The Celtic reserve should now go past the full-strength Rangers team on Wednesday!” Stephen Johnstone, Ardentinny, added: “Rangers met a brick wall at Dingwall when Ross County had the Wright player to carve out a well-deserved draw. Rangers will not be looking forward to Wednesday night's Old Firm game as Celtic could knock them off their pitch. He said: "Well done to Celtic for a gritty win. “The level of performance, especially lately at home, has been brutal! Jota, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Matt O'Riley were excellent but I have to say I hate Josip Juranovic, Giorgos Giakoumakis is never good enough and please don't get me started on wasting a James Forrest shirt!" "The Visiting crew enter an enemy cauldron with no followers to cheer for and after several shaky results lately. "We can only hope that questionable refereeing decisions will not play a role in the outcome of this game and that the global audience will experience an exciting football spectacle that will put one team or the other in pole position with a psychological advantage for the rest of the competition." Regular player Gordon Ashley, Ayr, was on edge again as he said: "You can see the difference between Celtic and Rangers fans in games like Saturday's. "Our fans sang in the second half and pushed our players to win while against Livi the Rangers fans stood on the backs of the players as usual."That's why we were hailed by FIFA as the world's best fans, Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and the only reason why we lost the title in training match." Fan Chris Lowe, Yoker, Sunday Mail column by Hugh Keevins criticized referee Bobby Madden, who has to play in the derby crunch this week, p he said: "Have a laugh at Celtic supporter Hugh's attempt to put pressure on the referee for Wednesday night in his Sunday column." "If the referees had done their job properly Celtic would have been more than two points behind Rangers all season and Nir Biton would not have been sent off yesterday as he would have been sent off at Tynecastle on Wednesday for one of his two handballs. "But again the game-changing decision was in Celtic's favour, which Hugh appears to have overlooked." Sean Beech, Hampshire, said: "Win, lose or draw, it's part of football and real fans accept that. Attacking a player in any form just because he's had the audacity to do his job is totally unacceptable and I hope so I sincerely all football fans and decent citizens make sure these idiots can't hide. Scottish football and society have no place for racists.”

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