Scottish Premiership Preview: Celtic Aiming to Make History…
Celtic will head into the new Scottish Premiership season with one thing on the minds – setting a new record for successive league title successes.
Winning ‘The 10’ has become the holy grail for Glasgow’s big two clubs, with both Celtic and the now liquidated Rangers FC failing on their previous attempts to get the job done.
Celtic set the initial benchmark of nine league titles from 1966-74, before Rangers matched the feat from 1989-97.
Read on as we look at Celtic’s chances of setting a new record and assess if anyone has a realistic chance of denying them this term…
Prolific Striker the Key to Success
The majority of online sportsbooks like these rate Celtic as 1/2 favourites to make it Ten-in-a-Row and that looks a fair reflection of their chances.
However, those odds could drift dramatically if the Hoops are unable to hang onto star striker Odsonne Edouard this summer.
The 22-year-old bagged 27 goals in 45 appearances for the club last season and his performances have attracted plenty of interest from the Premier League.
Arsenal are amongst a host of clubs who have been linked with Edouard, but Celtic fans will be desperate to see him stay to spearhead their bid for tenth successive title.
Celtic Still Searching for New Number One
Celtic are leaving it late to bring in a new goalkeeper, but the club has now managed to agree a fee to sign Vasilios Barkas from AEK Athens.
A resolution to the issue could have beed found closer to home after it was revealed that Southampton may be ready to offload Fraser Forster. The 32-year-old enjoyed a successful loan spell at Parkhead last season, but he was said to be willing to fight for his place with Saints this time around. Or at least remain in England for another bumper contract somewhere other than Southampton.
Joe Hart and David Marshall have also been linked with Celtic, but Forster would have been the ideal choice if the club could reach an agreement with Southampton and the player. Barkas was the Plan B and he should be in the squad for the opening game on Sunday, as he goes through his medical in Glasgow today.
Gerrard has Plenty to Prove
Steven Gerrard arrived at Ibrox to huge fanfare, with Rangers fans convinced that the former Liverpool midfielder would be the man to end Celtic’s dominance in Scotland.
A 2-1 victory at Parkhead towards the end of December was supposedly the dawning of a new era, but by the end of the campaign Rangers had been left trailing in Celtic’s wake a massive 13 points behind.
This season will be Gerrard’s biggest in charge of Rangers and he clearly still has plenty to prove when it comes to management.
Recent interest from Bristol City highlights Gerrard’s current lowly stock as a manager and he can ill-afford another year without any silverware.
Dons Should be Best of the Rest
It is difficult to imagine anything other than a two-horse race for the title in 2020/21, with none of the chasing pack looking capable of mounting a serious challenge.
Aberdeen should be the best of the rest, although their fans will be hoping that manager Derek McInnes plays a more attractive style of football.
Hibernian may finish higher than the seventh place they managed last season, particularly if new striker Kevin Nisbet can continue the form he showed lower down the scale.
Motherwell claimed third spot last term and if they can hang on to the likes of Allan Campbell and David Turnbull, they are certainly capable of repeating the trick this season.