NO medals will be handed out or silverware held aloft at Ibrox on Sunday. The first battle in the war could be won, though, on an afternoon where the bragging rights and the psychological edge are as important as the three points.

Victory in the first Old Firm game of the campaign was a signal of intent from Rangers last term. Once Steven Gerrard's side pulled away from Celtic at Parkhead, they never looked like being caught.

Come the end of the season, the gap across Glasgow was as wide as the Clyde. In the head-to-head fixtures, Celtic only had a home draw in March - after title 55 had already been wrapped up - to take as the scantest of consolations.

The coming months will determine who will be crowned as champions and who holds the position of supremacy in the Premiership as Gerrard seeks to defend his crown and Ange Postecoglou attempts to make an immediate impact in the East End.

Rangers' unbeaten run in the fixture carries no extra significance for Steven Davis. He is well aware, though, of the importance of landing the first blow as derby hostilities resume at Ibrox.

"It is another Old Firm," Davis said. "Historically you can’t go off previous results.

"We know we need to be at our best to get a result. If we perform to our best level, we give ourselves a good opportunity to get the result that we want.

"It is a new season. Last season was great being undefeated but we know the quality we have got in this team and we have to go and show it.

"I think that is certainly what it is. It gives you an opportunity to lay down a marker. We all know, we have spoken many times about it, the psychological boost that it can give to the team.

"I am sure it won’t have a bearing on the overall standings come the end of the season in terms of the real significance of it.

"But it is a massive game for everybody. First one of the season and you want to get off to a good start in these games."

The rivalry and sense of drama and excitement around the Old Firm may not have altered much over the years but there will be significant changes in the dynamic of the famous fixture this time around.

Celtic, of course, have a new man in the dugout and a host of fresh faces on the park. In the stands, Rangers will have 50,000 fans backing them as supporters return on derby day.

Rangers' status as champions will not come into the mind of Davis come kick-off but the Northern Irishman - who scored in the Scottish Cup win over Celtic in April - knows Gerrard's side must rise to the occasion in the aftermath of a lethargic draw with Alashkert.

Davis said: "I think every club is going to find themselves in the same situation regarding the fans because of what has happened in the past year.

"It is something you have to adapt to. I think the biggest thing for us as Rangers players is that you come to the club wanting to play in these games and they are unbelievable games to play in.

"We know the hype that is going to be surrounding the game in the lead up to it and what it means to us and our fans.

"Our sole focus is getting recovered, getting prepared for Sunday and then going out and performing in front of our crowd.

"I think that (going in as champions) is more so in the media and the outside noise. I think within the club ourselves we are just solely focused on trying to hit our best performance levels and if we can do that consistently we will give ourselves a really good opportunity of having success again this season.

"You can see that the squad depth and the strength that we have got, even with the players missing from last night for different reasons, we have still got a really good, strong, quality team there. We are just getting prepared and ready for Sunday."

That draw with Alashkert was enough to secure a place in the Europa League group stages for Rangers but it did nothing to alleviate the concerns over their form in the opening weeks of the campaign.

The champions have been sluggish at times and sloppy at others so far this term. There would be no better moment that Sunday to rise their levels to those they are more accustomed to.

"I think in football you are going to go through little spells where you don’t hit your best form," Davis said. "Whenever you do go through those spells, we even had them last season and maybe it wasn’t looked into as much because of the way things were going.

"You have to stick to your principles and I think we have got a really good foundation here. We don’t always get a lot of time on the pitch to practice what we want to do with the number of games that we have.

"We have enough players in this squad who have been here long enough to know exactly what the manager wants from us.

"Within that, it can be tweaked at different times and whether things are going badly or well, you are always looking to try and improve.

"Of course we will admit that things haven’t been as smooth as we would have liked to this point but we are searching for that form and whenever we get it we will be a real force."