THE countdown to the first Old Firm derby of the season is under way as fans of both clubs look ahead to the eagerly-anticipated showdown at Ibrox this Sunday.

Both sets of supporters will fancy their chances of picking up three points, and both Neil Lennon and Steven Gerrrard will be acutely aware that anything less than a win will not go down well with their club's fanbase.

Ahead of Sunday's match, we've taken a look back at the four derbies from last season and dug into the numbers behind each game.

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Last season, the first Glasgow derby took place at Parkhead with Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers looking to extend his unbeaten run against his side's rivals. Celtic won 1-0 on the day thanks to a breakaway goal from Olivier Ntcham, but it was not the free-scoring result that Celtic fans had started to grow accustomed to.

There is little doubt that Celtic deserved to win the match; the home side had three times as many shots (and hit them more accurately), a far superior expected goals (xG) and were far better on the ball than Gerrard's side.

Rangers struggled to create chances, as reflected in their low xG, and were forced into being a little more physical than their opponents: the visitors committed more fouls than Celtic and picked up four yellow cards, compared the two the home players recieved.

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This was a match that was a long time coming for Rangers fans, and a game that they will surely not forget in a hurry. Yes, Rangers had knocked Ronny Deila's Celtic out of the Scottish Cup in 2016 under Mark Warburton, but Rangers fans had been desperate to get one over their old rivals at home and this game proved to be the one where the Ibrox club finally recorded a league win over Celtic, courtesy of Ryan Jack's first-half strike.

It was a game that Rangers dominated, and that is reflected in the stats. Rangers' xG was around three times higher than Celtic's - implying that they created far better goalscoring opportunities - and Gerrard's side managed twice as many shots as Rodgers' charges.

Perhaps most worrying for Celtic fans, though, was how toothless the under-strength side looked in attack. Just one of Celtic's seven shots was on target, and the champions ended up comitting more fouls than Rangers and accumulated more bookings. Celtic did play more passes than Rangers, and did so more accurately, but it meant very little in the end as Rangers cantered to victory.

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The third Old Firm of the season took place at Celtic Park and it proved to be a crucial victory for the home side as they marched to an eighth consecutive league title. Ryan Kent cancelled out Odsonne Edouard's opener after the away side were reduced to 10 men, but James Forrest's late intervention sealed the win in the feisty encounter at Parkhead.

Celtic won the game by a single goal but going by the stats, the match should have been far more comfortable - particularly after Alfredo Morelos' dismissal around the half-hour mark. Rangers only managed five shots over the 90 minutes compared to Celtic's 13, and Gerrard's side had a remarkably low xG of 0.19.

This tells us two things. Firstly, that Kent's equaliser was a moment of brilliance that came out of nowhere. But secondly, that Rangers struggled to create clear-cut chances throughout the match. Interestingly, the 324 passes the away side managed eclipsed the number of passes made in the 1-0 win at Ibrox, meaning that moving the ball around was not much of an issue for Rangers. The 16 fouls accrued, alongside two yellow cards and two reds (Halliday was sent off at the final whistle), highlights the disruptive influence Rangers had that afternoon but in the end, it wasn't enough and it was Celtic that gained the three points in Lennon's first Old Firm since he was reappointed.

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The fourth and final Glasgow derby of the season took place at Ibrox, with Celtic having already sewn up the league title the previous weekend with a 3-0 win at Pittodrie. Rangers captain James Tavernier got his side off to a flyer with a free-kick inside the opening two minutes before Scott Arfield added another in the second half to seal the win.

It was a match that Celtic struggled to get a foothold in and the data says as much. Just one of Celtic's four shots was on target, but their xG of 0.73 is relatively high, implying that the few chances they did create were of a reasonable quality. Rangers' xG was calculated to be 1.1; a realtively low figure, given the fact that they had 12 shots during the match, but Tavernier's early free-kick would have had an xG approaching zero as it was unlikely to find the back of the net.

Interestingly, this fixture at Ibrox marked the first time in years that Rangers' passing accuracy (85%) was higher than Celtic's (83.3%). For years, Celtic were able to dominate the ball in these encounters and although Lennon's side managed more passes than Gerrard's, this was the first time that Rangers objectively used the ball better than their rivals.