Rangers and Celtic Scottish Premiership Odds: Rivals set for epic title race

 | February 07 | 

5 mins read

Rangers Ibrox Stadium

It’s just over four months since Rangers made the decision to sack Michael Beale. After a 3-1 defeat to Aberdeen at Ibrox, the players were booed off and the mood around the club was toxic. Having lost the last two titles, Rangers were seven points off their fiercest rivals and things were looking bleak. 

Now, ahead of Celtic’s trip to Edinburgh tonight to take on Hibernian, live on Sky Sports, The Bears sit top of the league - level on points with their Glaswegian neighbours. They’ve been close over the last two seasons, eventually losing the title by four and seven points respectively, but last term we barely had a title race.

Scottish Premiership Odds

  • Celtic to win title @ 10/11
  • Rangers to win title @ 5/6

Celtic embarked on a 25-match unbeaten league run over the winter, in which they only dropped points once. Ange Postecoglou’s side made light work of the rest of the Scottish Premiership and were simply a level above Rangers and, despite gaining ground when the title was already won, the Bears finished trophyless and the writing was already on the wall for the unpopular Beale. 

When the Hoops lost Postecoglou over the summer, it felt like a summer of transition north of the border. Perhaps a chance for both clubs to press the reset button. As Brendan Rodgers somewhat surprisingly headed back to Celtic Park and Rangers stuck with Beale, it felt like the baton of power had simply been handed from one Celtic manager to the next. 

Given Rodgers’ previous success at the club, it would have been easy to predict a third league title on the bounce when Beale departed. Let’s not beat around the bush, Rodgers is one of Celtic’s most successful managers of the past decade. He was on course for an imperious treble-treble when he made the decision to join Leicester City in February 2019.

Losing Postecoglou was hardly ideal, but going back to Rodgers was seemingly the best option available to them - even if his decision to leave four years prior had left a sour taste in the mouth of every Celtic supporter. Sometimes you just have to swallow your pride in order to achieve success, and the board believed Rodgers’ return almost guaranteed that. 

Celtic to beat hibs

When Rangers looked down and out, they turned to a knight in shining armour. Phillipe Clement. He arrived in mid-October with the club at a low ebb, but less than five months later they are fighting for the title, and the fans are fully on board with his methods, tactics and substitutions. 

After another league win, this time at home to Aberdeen, he maintained the calm demeanour that has served him well so far. 

"It is a massive thing to win games like this. These are normally the ones where you lose points. If we keep winning games like that, it is good for the rest of the season. We are taking it game by game.

"I believe this team can go a really long way if they stick together and there are no egos. We are still fighting for three competitions."

Philippe Clement after Rangers beat Aberdeen to go top

The positivity coming out of the blue half of Glasgow is palpable, and it feels like that is a clear difference between the two camps at this moment in time. Rodgers is trying to keep his ship on course, but the disdain for him is growing. In the 1-1 draw at Aberdeen, the Celtic fans unfurled a banner reading ‘Celtic board - on your head be it’ - a clear sign of the unhappiness surrounding the business in the transfer window and the appointment of Rodgers.

Celtictitle

His football has come under fire for being both slow and boring, while he seems to be fighting a losing battle when it comes to instilling confidence in his side. 

"I never set out this season thinking you are going to win a league by 10 or 20 points," Rodgers recently said.

"You set out to be the very best you can be and meet the challenge that is in and around you. Clearly, the competition is there and it will be tight, I'm pretty sure, through to the end of the season.

"For us, it's just about really focusing on our own game and making sure we can have that consistency.

Those quotes may be sensible but they haven’t filled fans with confidence, while over the other side of the city, Clement can simply do no wrong. From the first press conference he spoke with confidence and had a clear vision - something Beale simply didn't offer. He's got Cyriel Dessers scoring goals, while his decision to loan out the unpopular Sam Lammers, a £3.5m Beale summer signing, saw genuine celebrations from the Rangers faithful. 

Rangerstitle56

On the pitch he’s quickly established an attacking style of play, and off the pitch he's consistent and calm in press conferences. He doesn’t waver or doubt himself, and it is those qualities that have dragged Rangers back into the title race. 

There’s also, rightly or wrongly, been an injection of interest in the Scottish Premiership recently from outside Scotland. Neil Warnock’s decision to join Aberdeen for the rest of the season was always going to be a massive story in the footballing world, as the 75-year-old travelled north of the border for ‘one last job’. 

Meanwhile, as previously mentioned, this title race and the subsequent Old Firm derbies will take on far more importance given it has been several years since we had a tight title run-in. It’s what the country needs, but given the state of both teams at this moment in time and the regression of Celtic, we might not actually get it. 

It’s all looking good for Rangers to win just their second title in the last 12 seasons, and, importantly, turn 55 into 56. The razor-thin balance of power in Scotland could be tipping once again. 

Check out our other Football Betting Tips here. 

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