A reasonable final derby date amid the possibility of Celtic clinching the title at Ibrox

By Hamish Carton

April 12, 2023

Celtic will find out their post-split fixtures later this month, with the timing of the final derby against Rangers at Ibrox one of the key considerations.

The Hoops have already met their rivals three times in the Premiership this season, winning two and drawing one with an aggregate scoreline of 9-4 in our favour.

We will face them at Hampden in the Scottish Cup semi-final on Sunday 30 April, with the post-split schedule beginning the weekend after.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Theoretically, we could be sent to Ibrox on any matchday from 34 to 38. But most are likely to be ruled out for various reasons.

Matchday 38 will be at Celtic Park, with the Premiership trophy handed to Callum McGregor shortly after full-time.

Matchday 37 is a midweek (SPFL) and the police tend to prefer lunchtime kick-offs for derbies.

Matchday 34, the first available after the semi-final, is a possibility but a recent Scottish Daily Mail report stated a preference from the police to avoid derbies in consecutive weeks. That coronation also takes place that weekend.

Assuming both teams continue to win against the rest of the league, matchday 35 would be the day Celtic could clinch the title at Ibrox, so that is surely not an option either.

The police are said to fear a scenario where Celtic could win the league at Ibrox.

Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

That leaves matchday 36 on the weekend of May 20/21 as perhaps the only option with no complications as far as the authorities are concerned.

That would mean that we could go to Ibrox as champions. Wouldn’t that be fun?

In other news, Celtic are ten points from winning the league and qualifying for the UEFA Champions League group stage