Scottish champions Celtic set for surprising three-horse title race?
Following the demise of Celtic’s Old Firm rivals Rangers, the Bhoys have expectedly dominated domestically in the Scottish Premiership, but could they be surprisingly involved in a season-long three-horse race for the title this time out?
The Hoops clinched their fourth consecutive Scottish crown last term, with their closest challengers Aberdeen fading out during the campaign run-in, but they face a tougher test than initially expected in search of a fifth successive title.
With Europa League exploits potentially set to derail Ronny Deila’s men domestically this term, who are 10/3 with Coral to finish atop Group A, both Aberdeen and Hearts can pounce and capitalise to possibly make history.
No team other than Celtic or Rangers has lifted the country’s top tier trophy for 30 years, when Sir Alex Ferguson guided Aberdeen to the title in 1985 before moving on to ventures with Manchester United.
Three decades on from the Dons’ domestic triumph, they once again sit at the summit of Scotland’s top-flight table, with reigning champions Celtic faltering five points adrift after being recently conquered by the leaders.
Ferguson’s former club look the most capable of finally ending the Glasgow dominance at 9/1 to emerge victorious come next year, while Hearts will undoubtedly have a part to play in this three-way tussle.
As ever, any slight downfall at all during the Bhoys’ domestic campaign leads to eyebrows being raised, with every manager in charge at Parkhead expected to clinch domestic silverware success at a canter.
Celtic’s leading dangerman this term Leigh Griffiths has had to publically deny any unrest among the squad, after a sickening defeat to rivals Aberdeen and a recent failure to qualify for the Champions League group stage.
“The boys were disappointed on Saturday but that is part and parcel of the game, being a footballer, you are disappointed when you get beat, but the focus was on Ajax on Thursday,” stated the Scotland international.
Previously, Hoops coach John Kennedy was also forced to have his say on murmurs of discontent within the Glasgow set-up, angrily dismissing any rumours as nonsense.
“I’m hearing all this talk of unrest and everything else and it couldn’t be further from the truth,” declared Kennedy.
“We’ve got a great group of lads who work extremely hard every single day and at the end of the day we have had two disappointing results, that’s what it is. All this talk of crisis and everything else is rubbish, absolute rubbish.”
The intriguing uprising of both Aberdeen and Hearts has given the defending champions Celtic plenty to think about, as they prepare for Europa League ventures before returning to Scotland to battle it out in a three horse race for the title.