Scottish Premiership gets set from a sensational finale as Celtic look to retain title

Celtic’s final Scottish Premiership match before the split takes place this Saturday at 3pm with the Champions taking on St Mirren at Celtic Park.

Brendan Rodgers’ side continued to lead the way in the race for the title after the 3-3 draw at Ibrox on Sunday. It was a game that Celtic really should have won having led 2-0 at the break and them re-establishing the lead with a third goal in the closing stages only to allow theRangers to snatch an undeserved point at the death.

It’s been a familiar failing for Celtic this season, dropping points from a winning position by conceding deep into stoppage time on at least three occasions, against Motherwell and Kilmarnock at Celtic Park and then against theRangers in Sunday’s Glasgow Derby.

Looking ahead, the current situation is that Celtic have six remaining matches in the Scottish Premiership this season including the game this coming weekend against St Mirren. Following that Brendan Rodgers side will have three further home matches and two games away from home.

These fixtures have yet to be determined as we await the league reaching round 33 where the Scottish Premiership then splits in two with the top six playing each other once and the bottom six doing the same. The games will certainly attract significant interest on football streaming services around the world and attendances at all games involving the top two will be sell-outs.

We know five of the six sides who will be in the top six – Celtic (played 32, points 75), theRangers (31,74), Hearts (32,59), Kilmarnock (32,48) and St Mirren (32,43).

In the bottom half of the table, as things stand, all six sides have played 32 games with both Hibs (38 points) and Motherwell (36 points) in with a chance of finishing 6th ahead of Dundee who currently occupy that position with 39 points from 31 games.

Dundee’s game in hand is against theRangers and is scheduled to take place this evening at their home ground. This game was previously postponed at the end of March due to the Dens Park being unplayable and there are ongoing doubts about the game taking place this evening with referee Don Robertson calling a second pitch inspection for 3.30pm given the weather forecast for more rain in the area.

Daizen Maeda scores in the first minute of a Scottish Premiership football match against theRangers on April 7, 2024 at Ibrox. Photo Imago

If the game does go ahead and Dundee win then they will have secured their place in the top six, alongside Kilmarnock – incidentally those are the two most recent winners of the Championship and their success in the Scottish Premiership suggests that their is merit in increasing the size of the Scottish Premiership to include sides like Dundee United, Raith Rovers and maybe a few others too.

A draw this evening takes Motherwell out of the mix for a top six finish but leaves the door open for Hibs. Dundee play their 33rd match on Saturday away to Aberdeen while Motherwell are at home to Hibs.

In Dundee lose this evening then theRangers will replace Celtic at the top of the league with a two points advantage. They are back in action up in Dingwall this weekend where second bottom Ross County have a fairly comfortable nine points advantage over Livingston who are heading for relegation, although they could win all their post split matches and pull off a remarkable Great Escape.

Ross County will be hoping that Kilmarnock can take something from their trip to McDiarmid Park on Saturday and that would open the door for them to close in on St Johnstone as the two look set for a fight to avoid the play-off slot.

So both Dundee and Ross County have plenty to play for against theRangers who will do well to take six points from their northern travels.

Post-split Celtic know that they will have three home matches, against theRangers, Hearts and either Dundee or Hibs and two away against Kilmarnock and St Mirren. The latest Ibrox club will have to visit Celtic Park and Hearts with one other away game from the remaining three fixtures and two at Ibrox.

Celtic know that winning six league matches in a row guarantees the title. In contrast Philippe Clement knows that if his side can win six games and get a draw at Celtic Park then they will be champions. But their record at Celtic Park is pretty dismal to say the least and in the three meetings this season Celtic have won two and drawn one (at the weekend in a match Celtic should also have won).

Celtic supporters fear that those three late equalisers Celtic have conceded could very well determine the destination of the Scottish Premiership title. On the other hand this campaign has been littered with unpredictable results across the fixture list and there are bound to be further twists and turns before we find out who is lifting the trophy next month, Callum McGregor the Celtic captain or James Tavernier who wears the armband for theRangers.

And don’t rule out a surprise this evening – if the game goes ahead – as Dundee have plenty of motivation to get a result to secure their top six finish.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

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