'Can Clement claim elusive marquee derby win?'

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Philippe Clement has yet to do it. Michael Beale couldn’t do it. Before him, Giovanni van Bronckhorst tried and failed as well.

The last Rangers manager to guide his side to a victory over Celtic at Parkhead was Steven Gerrard. It was October 2020 and there wasn’t a supporter in the ground to see Connor Goldson’s double, slap-bang as we were in the middle of Covid restrictions.

In the six league derbies in Glasgow’s East End since, Rangers have taken just two of 18 points. If that winless streak continues this weekend, surely the Ibrox men will have run out of road in this title chase?

Barring a late Celtic collapse in their two final games against Kilmarnock and St Mirren, it’s win or bust for Clement's team this weekend. Even that might not be enough, given Celtic’s better goal difference.

In terms of a statement of intent from Rangers, however, there would be none better than a marquee win in their hosts’ back yard.

Indeed, any kind of Rangers victory would do, given they haven’t won a meaningful derby since the 2022 Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden.

You could quite easily argue Beale’s big problem was an inability to beat Celtic. His side came up second best too many times in too many big games against Ange Postecoglou’s treble winners last term.

When Beale came back for this season and promptly lost the first derby at Ibrox it was a case of different manager, same old story. Brendan Rodgers taking the baton seamlessly from Postecoglou. It was also the beginning of the end for Beale, who only lasted five more games.

The funny thing is, if Celtic win all their remaining games, Rodgers will amass just one more point than the much-maligned Beale accrued last season. And if Clement wins all three remaining games, he could win the league and still be two points shy of Beale’s 92-point haul.

For that to happen, of course, the Belgian has to slay Celtic in their own raucous amphitheatre. There’s been little evidence to suggest his side is capable of the result their fans so crave.

Defeat at Celtic Park at New Year was followed by the concession of three goals at Ibrox with a point salvaged by Rabbi Matondo’s late wonder strike.

Rodgers hasn’t been on the end of a derby defeat since the end of 2018. Should that statistic remain intact on Saturday, Rangers' title chances – and treble dreams – will be hanging by the thinnest of threads.

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