How 8 elite pundits see Celtic vs Rangers going as Ibrox royalty makes plea and radio pundit panics over a wager

It's the game everyone wants to predict while also keeping a close eye on the escape exit, having the chopper running, with a parachute attached ready to vamoose – pundits always need to leave a little wiggle room.

Weighing in how Celtic vs Rangers will play out is akin to an overeager boxer wading in blows but leaving their chin exposed resulting in a smack to the chops. But the biggest names who cover our magical sport cannot resist the temptation to chime in as Brendan Rodgers stands one win from all-but guaranteeing a 12th title in 13 seasons for Celtic.

But in the blue corner, the challenger Philippe Clement is unbowed as he knows three points for the Light Blues will give a them a bonafide shot of downing Celtic en route to a potential Treble. It's seismic, it's unmissable and the big names are on board – are you ready for a bit of fun? Record Sport runs the rule over the big predictions.

Pat Nevin

The pundit – speaking to OLBG – is getting comfy on the fence but is trying to avoid the splinters. He said: "It’s a brilliant end to the season in Scotland, it’s absolutely fantastic. Celtic have a little bit more pressure on them than usual but because they play Rangers at home, that makes a huge difference with no Rangers fans in Celtic Park which will be heaving. The likelihood is that Celtic only need a draw in that game. So everything to that degree is in Celtic's favour, but just have a look at the recent results, It's incredible. Celtic and Rangers both sneak 2-1 wins in the weekend before last. I can't keep my eyes off this.

"It is a great one and just like the English Premier League title race this year. I just hope it goes to the final day and I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes to the final day. The favourites are still Celtic, but would I want to be putting my house on it right now? Absolutely not."

Steven Davis

The Rangers hall off famer only has one wish for the team he loves when they travel to Ibrox. He said: "Winning breeds confidence and you have that snowball effect. But, even so, Parkhead is a really tough place to go, especially with things so tight. There is pressure on both teams, that doesn’t change. But I do believe Rangers have the quality to go there and get the result that’s needed. We need to show that. Performance-wise you hope it’s good but come the final whistle the be all and end all is the result. It’s one game at a time, I think that’s the way the manager has approached things since coming in. It’s up to the players to remain focused. It’s such a special feeling to be in that dressing room having had success and sharing in those special moments. Some of the boys have had that experience and it leaves you wanting more."

Charlie Mulgrew

The former Celtic star is up for the battle and he loves what Rodgers had to say over the weekend. Speaking to Sky Sports, he said:: "Brendan Rodgers is right, you have got to go out and enjoy it, because that's what we grew up doing as football players, you grow up and want to play football to enjoy it. If you go and enjoy it, you know you are doing well. You will work harder if you are enjoying it, you will press higher, you will keep the ball. So he is bang on with 'go and have fun'. Obviously Rangers want to have fun as well, so it will be a great game."

Graeme Souness

Souness was involved in the interview process which led Clement to Ibrox and he remains a steadfast backer of the Belgian ahead of his date with destiny in Parkhead.

He said: “I thought they were a bit unlucky in the game (the 2-1 defeat in December). They were down to 10 men for a long time yet could have got something from the game. This is not just about this weekend. It’s about getting over the line in the league – and this is a big step towards it. There could still be slip ups somewhere else. It’s not easy to win titles.

"Celtic have been the dominant team in the last couple of years since Steven Gerrard won the title. They have the bit between their teeth and you have to say Rangers are underdogs. They have to deal with that and get on with it. They need to focus, not get sidetracked but anything that goes on, and turn up and play on the day.”

Frank McAvennie

The legendary poacher is forecasting the future and warned Philippe Clement about the perils of coming up short. He said: "It’s a big game all right. Listen, Clement could still end up winning a Treble if he wins on Saturday then beats Celtic in the Scottish Cup Final two weeks later. On the other hand, he hasn’t won against Celtic yet. If he were to lose those next two derbies it would be three defeats and a draw against them on his record. And if Clement gets off to a poor start next season – failing to get into the Champions League and losing the first Old Firm game – he could be gone.”

Kris Boyd

The pundit leaned on a season which has ebbed and flowed but is under no illusions Rangers must up their level. Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: "There is going to be a big improvement against Celtic, there has to be. Rangers had a bad start, were excellent in the middle and they've fallen away in the last few weeks. Can they bounce back? Celtic have been the opposite - a good start, a bit in the middle where they huffed and puffed, and now they've gone again. It's going to be a huge game, there's no doubt about that. If Rangers are going to get anything they have to go there with that confidence and belief they can do it. But it's not going to be easy."

Paul Lambert

Paul Lambert – with his phone lighting up like a Christmas Tree with Dortmund back in the Champions League Final – took a detour from impending Deutschland duty to concede a Rangers win on Sunday would shock him.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: "It would be, yes, because on current form and with Rangers’ record there not the best it would be an upset for everybody. Celtic look as if they’re bang on it again. They’re performing at the right time at this crucial part of the season."

Chris Sutton

The cant-miss Record Sport pundit stopped short of a full blown prediction – you have to wait for Saturday's unmissable for that. But he is intrigued over how Rodgers selects his starting XI.

Speaking on the Record Celtic Podcast, Sutton said: “We’ll have a debate about who’s going to start, James Forrest or Nicolas Kuhn. I don’t think that that is as cut and dried because Brendan may see it as he likes Nicholas Kuhn coming on the inside, driving the inside and causing problems in that respect. I think that is the one area if Daizen Maeda is fit and how fit is he? But I do take your point that I think that James Forrest on recent form has to start, but I think that’s still a wait and see that one.”