With Sunday’s massive season-opening Old Firm match on the horizon, Ibrox Noise learned of a stat from our friends at Sky Sports which addresses a long-held belief about the importance of the fixture.
Rangers fans will well remember the famous season of 95/96 where Tommy Burns’ Celtic lost just one match all season, to Rangers, but still didn’t win the league despite Rangers being unable to beat them in the other three Old Firms either.
Sky Sports’ stattos have discovered that Old Firm matches, given all the pressure and history on them, do indeed have a major influence on who goes onto win the league.
Whoever wins this Sunday does become the marginal favourite to win the league based on that result.
Since 1998, and the start of the Scottish Premier League, there have been 17 seasons with Rangers and Celtic in the top flight, and the extraordinary reveal is that 9 of those have seen the side with the most points in the Old Firm encounters go on to win the league, with four occasions seeing the spoils shared in the fixture and two title wins a piece as a result. Last season, of course, was an example of the results halved and Celtic still won the league by a stroll.
Only four titles in the past 17 years have been won against the Old Firm results.
And that is massive.
While Sunday’s result in itself doesn’t mean everything, the four fixtures in total do, and the team that can get an edge in them, the team that can earn more points, statistically stands a better chance of winning the title.
And it begins by getting the three points this weekend.