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Scottish Premiership: Rangers almost at the finish line

Scottish Premiership Scores

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Update: 04.03.21

With just seven games left to play, Rangers enjoy an 18-point lead over second-placed Celtic in the Scottish Premiership table and to all intents and purposes, it really is game over for the defending Scottish champions. Rangers left it late in the day when securing the points at Livingston last night, Alfredo Morelos wrapping things up with the only goal of the match in the 87th minute and this was enough to edge the Light Blues ever closer to the finish line. Indeed Steven Gerrard’s men now need just four more points in order to be guaranteed the league title for the first time in ten seasons.

As far as Celtic are concerned, this has been an utterly dreadful season and while things picked up in February with five consecutive wins, a subsequent 1-0 defeat at Ross County proved to be the final straw for the board and they decided that the time was right to appoint a new manager.

The few bookmakers that are still offering odds on the 2020/21 Scottish Premiership Title are going as low as 1/10,000 on Rangers and as high as 150/1 on Celtic, this in itself indicating that the race is effectively at an end. Indeed only a catastrophic drop in form from the league leaders would be enough for Celtic to close the gap and while Gerrard’s men have slowed things down of late with four of their last five wins being by a scoreline of just 1-0, it’s hard to envisage them slipping up when the trophy is within their grasp.

Rangers are up against St Mirren at Ibrox on Saturday afternoon and a win here would set the scene nicely for a showdown at Celtic Park on March 21st, anything other than defeat for the visitors enough to send the trophy to Ibrox.

 

 

Update: 02.03.21

Celtic returned to winning ways on Saturday afternoon when they edged past Aberdeen to the tune of 1-0, Odsonne Edouard scoring the only goal of the game in what was a far from convincing performance from the defending Scottish champions. This was Celtic’s first outing since the sacking of manager Neil Lennon and whilst it was a welcome result for caretaker boss John Kennedy, it will realistically do little to boost the Hoops’ chances of delivering a tenth consecutive league title.

Rangers are now far too ahead to be caught and another seven points for Steven Gerrard’s men will result in the Premiership trophy heading to Ibrox this term. Indeed none of the major bookmakers now go more than 1/1000 on Rangers clinching the Scottish Premiership title for the first time in ten years and it is now inconceivable that any other outcome will occur.

Having played a game more than their Old Firm rivals, Celtic sit a full fifteen points behind Rangers in the Scottish top-flight and some bookies now go as high as 150/1 that they somehow manage to overtake Rangers by the close of the campaign. In order of this to happen, Gerrard’s side would have to suffer a catastrophic drop in form and going on their season so far, we don’t expect this to happen.

Indeed the business end of the campaign is fast approaching and should Rangers manage wins over Livingston and St Mirren in their next two Premiership outings, then Steven Gerrard’s men may well be set to clinch the crown at Celtic Park in the Old Firm derby on 21st March.

 

Scottish Premiership Odds from BetVictor Bookmakers

 

1/1000 – Rangers

150/1  –  Celtic

 

Update: 23.02.21

It was more joy for Rangers and yet more misery for Celtic at the weekend as each side experienced completely contrasting fortunes. Steve Bruce’s men recovered from a lacklustre start to beat Dundee United to the tune of 4-1 at Ibrox and with Celtic subsequently losing at Ross County, the title is almost certain to be heading to Ibrox in a few weeks time.

Indeed just eight league games remain for each side of the Old Firm and Rangers enjoy an eighteen point lead over their arch-rivals. If the Light Blues manage to win their next two matches, then they would secure the title with a draw in the Old Firm derby on March 21st. Nevertheless if Celtic lose at Aberdeen in their next outing, then Rangers could secure the title as soon as 6th March.

Steven Gerrard isn’t getting too carried away as yet, however given Rangers’ excellent form this term and the fact that they just need seven points from their closing eight games in order to finish top of the pile, even the most optimistic Celtic fans would now surely concede that the chances of their side making it ten in a row have now been blown out of the water.

Following the win over the Tangerines, Gerrard said:

“I think it is normal to think [about winning the league]. I don’t think there is any harm to think. But the one thing I won’t do is get carried away too soon. We have just got to finish the job off.

“The opportunity is there for us but we have won nothing yet. The main thing that has pleased me at the moment is that the players are really in the zone. I can see the focus, I can see the determination.”

Away from the Old Firm, Hibernian are massive odds-on favourites to finish in the top-three in the Scottish Premiership with some firms going as low as 1/9. The men from Leith enjoy a four-point lead over fourth-placed Aberdeen as well as a game-in-hand.

 

Update: 18.02.21

Celtic have now played all of their games in hand and while they have shown huge signs of improvement following an utterly dreadful first-half of the season, they sit a full fifteen points behind Rangers in the Premiership table. Indeed with the business end of the season fast approaching, the bookies remain extremely confident that Steven Gerrard’s men will be first over the line, most firms going 1/1000 that the Premiership trophy ends up at Ibrox for the first time in ten years. Indeed some firms go as low as 1/5000 that this proves to be the case with Celtic way out to as much as 100/1 to make it ten in a row.

Mathematically Celtic could catch and even overtake Rangers between now and the end of the season, however they would need Steven Gerrard’s men to suffer a dramatic drop in form. This is unlikely to happen and the Gers’ fans will now have the champagne on ice as they finally look forward to their return to the top of the domestic game.

The only slight spanner in the works is Rangers’ involvement in Europe, however this has thus far proven to be no huge obstacle to Gerrard’s men and the likelihood is that it will have little or no impact on their domestic performances in the weeks ahead.

Celtic have been truly awful this term and the likelihood is that manager Neil Lennon will be shown the door at some point in the coming weeks. Scotland boss Steve Clarke is being touted as his likely successor, however irrespective of who takes the reins at Parkhead, it is fairly certain that they won’t be able to turn the Hoops into genuine title contenders this season.

 

 

Update: 10.02.21

Rangers may have dropped points against Hamilton Academical in their last outing but this will almost certainly have no bearing on where the Scottish Premiership trophy ends up at the end of the season. Steven Gerrard’s men enjoy a 21-point lead at the summit of the league table and while second-placed Celtic have two games-in-hand over their arch-rivals, the bookies are firmly of the opinion that Ibrox will be the destination for the trophy at the end of the campaign.

Indeed some bookies go 1/1000 that Rangers prevent the Hoops from making it ten in a row this season, this implying a perceived 100% probability that the Light Blues will finish top of the pile. Celtic are as much as 80/1 to claim their tenth Premiership title on the bounce although in reality, this is effectively out of their grasp.

As the business end of the campaign fast approaches, this is now very much a one-horse race for the Premiership title with all other top-flight sides priced at 2000/1 or more.

 

Scottish Premiership Odds from BetVictor Bookmakers

 

1/1000 – Rangers

50/1  –  Celtic

 

Update: 28.01.21 

It was a far from convincing display but Rangers did enough last night to secure the three points at Easter Road and further consolidate their huge lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership table. Steven Gerrard’s men had to wait until the second half to find the breakthrough against Hibernian in what was a very closely-fought affair, however Alfredo Morelos banged-in the only goal of the match in the 51st minute and the Light Blues maintained their healthy 23-point lead at the top of the division.

Celtic also enjoyed a much-needed win when they brushed aside Hamilton Academical to the tune of 2-0 at Parkhead last night, however while Neil Lennon’s men still have three games-in-hand over their arch-rivals, time is fast running out for the reigning Scottish champions as we head further into the second half of the campaign.

The bookmakers are firmly of the opinion that Rangers will take the Scottish Premiership trophy to Ibrox at the close of the season, BetVictor going as low as 1/500 that this proves to be the case. This equates to an implied probability of 99.8% that Rangers will finish top of the pile, this in itself a damning indictment on Celtic’s hugely disappointing season thus far.

The same firm now go a massive 40/1 on Celtic to make it ten titles in succession and while mathematically there is time for the Hoops to haul themselves back into contention, they would need Rangers to suffer a dramatic and cataclysmic drop in form over the rest of the season and we certainly don’t envisage this happening.

 

Scottish Premiership Odds from BetVictor Bookmakers

 

1/500 – Rangers

40/1  –  Celtic

 

Update: 27.01.21

While there may be much of the season left to play, it’s inconceivable that Rangers will let the Scottish Premiership title slip from their grasp. The Light Blues enjoy a huge 23-point lead over arch-rivals Celtic and the likelihood of the latter making it ten on the bounce is looking very remote to say the least.

As things stand, there is a very strong possibility that Neil Lennon will be shown the door at some point in the coming weeks and failure to beat St Mirren at Parkhead on Saturday would surely prove to be the final straw for the club hierarchy. Indeed the fans are starting to become somewhat disillusioned given recent dismal results and many sections of the support are demanding that Lennon be shown the door sooner rather than later.

Rangers have been utterly dominant this season and this is reflected in the odds being bandied about on them taking the Premiership trophy at the end of the campaign, some firms going as low as 1/250 that it ends up at Ibrox, this implying a perceived probability of 99.6% that this does prove to be the case.

Celtic are way behind in the betting market with many firms going 33/1 that they manage against all the odds to claw their way back into contention and make it ten titles in succession.

 

Update: 26.01.21

With Celtic having failed to win any of their last four Scottish Premiership matches, the chances of them closing the gap on runaway Premiership leaders is very slim indeed. A massive 23 points separate the two sides as things stand and while Neil Lennon’s men have three games-in-hand over the league leaders, the likelihood is that the Hoops will come off second best at the end of the campaign.

The reigning Scottish champions were held to their third successive draw when sharing the spoils with a depleted Livingston side in their last outing while Rangers thrashed Ross County to the tune of 5-0 at the weekend, thus widening the gap between the two sides even further. The bookies are coming increasingly close to closing the book on the Scottish title race with some firms going as low as 1/200 that the trophy ends up at Ibrox at the end of the campaign.

 

Scottish Premiership Odds from BetVictor Bookmakers

1/200 – Rangers

33/1  –  Celtic

 

Update: 22.01.21

It would seem that the bookmakers are edging ever closer to closing the book on this season’s Scottish Premiership title race. The best odds currently available on Rangers ending Celtic’s bid to make it ten in a row being just 1/100 with some firms going even lower at 1/150. This is an implied probability of between 99% and 99.3% that the trophy ends up at Ibrox this season and there can be no doubt whatsoever Steven Gerrard’s men have been a country-mile above their Old Firm rivals since the start of the campaign.

All of this will be adding to the pressure on under-fire Hoops manager Neil Lennon and the likelihood is that he will be shown the door sometime in the coming days or weeks. A change at the top will clearly cause some unsettlement in the squad ahead of the latter stages of the campaign and as such, it’s highly unlikely that Celtic will manage to narrow substantially the massive gap that currently exists between themselves and Rangers.

Celtic have been undeniably dreadful since the start of the season, Lennon’s men failing miserably in European competition and also being second-best in the Scottish Premiership. This has been made worse by Rangers’ qualification for the knockout stages of the Europa League and it’s becoming evident that this will be a season to forget for the Celtic faithful.

 

 

Update: 21.01.21

Celtic once again slipped-up in their battle to narrow the massive gap which exists between themselves and table-topping Rangers in the Scottish Premiership table. Neil Lennon’s men locked horns with Livingston in the midst of a blizzard in West Lothian and were forced to settle for a share of the spoils in what was a far-from-entertaining exchange. This leaves the Hoops a massive 20 points adrift of their Old Firm rivals and while they still have two games-in-hand over their arch-rivals, recent performances have done little to suggest that they can make good use of these.

We’re now firmly into the second half of the 2020/21 Scottish Premiership campaign and the bookies have once again slashed the odds on Rangers being first over the finishing line, some firms now going as low as 1/150 odds-on that the Premiership trophy heads to Ibrox at the end of the season. This has further piled the pressure on under-fire boss Neil Lennon and the general consensus is that the Celtic manager will soon be shown the door.

The Hoops have been hugely disappointing since the start of the campaign and the bookies have them priced at 25/1 to make it ten titles in succession. Indeed their season has been something of a disaster with an early exit from Europe being followed by some extremely underwhelming domestic performances. Should Lennon manage to hang onto his position in the coming days, then it will come as something of a surprise to most pundits.

 

Scottish Premiership Odds from BetVictor Bookmakers

 

1/150 – Rangers

25/1 –  Celtic

 

Update: 19.01.20

With Celtic having failed to take maximum points from their meeting with Livingston on Saturday afternoon, Rangers had a chance to widen even further the massive gap existing between the two sides. The Hoops could only manage a goal-less draw at home to Livingston in their weekend outing and all eyes were on Rangers the following afternoon as they faced Motherwell at Fir Park. The hosts took the lead in the 20th minute and it was only 18 minutes from time that Steven Gerrard’s men replied with an equaliser to secure a point for their troubles.

These results mean that the 21-point gap between Rangers and Celtic remains intact and the Hoops still have three games in hand, however of the two, Celtic looked by far the weaker at the weekend and the bookmakers have further slashed the odds on Rangers winning the Scottish Premiership title at the end of the season. BetVictor Bookmakers go 1/100 that the Premiership trophy ends up at Ibrox at the end of 2020/21 while the same firm goes 20/1 that Celtic make it ten on the bounce, something that is looking more and more unlikely as we head into the second half of the campaign.

 

Scottish Premiership Odds from BetVictor Bookmakers

 

1/100 – Rangers

20/1 –  Celtic

 

Update: 15.01.21

Celtic have a chance to narrow the substantial gap which exists between themselves and table-topping Rangers to a ‘mere’ eighteen points on Saturday afternoon when they entertain Livingston at Parkhead. Neil Lennon is still a man under pressure despite the Hoops boss receiving the backing of the club board on three separate occasions this term, however many disgruntled supporters are calling for his head on a plate and failure to secure maximum points against Livi this weekend could force the board’s hand.

Should Celtic manage to narrow the gap between themselves and the top of the Scottish Premiership table, it may only be temporary given that Rangers are in action on Sunday afternoon when they travel to Motherwell’s Fir Park. The Hoops were forced to field a team made up of second-string players when facing Hibernian earlier this week and this resulted in the spoils being shared, however most of the first-team will be available for this weekend’s clash and the hosts start as firm favourites to secure the spoils.

As far as Rangers are concerned, they are firm favourites to secure all three points at Fir Park this weekend and we envisage them maintaining their healthy lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership table by heading home from Lanarkshire with all three points securely in the bag.

 

Scottish Premiership Odds from BetVictor Bookmakers

 

1/66 –  Rangers

20/1 –  Celtic

 

Update: 14.01.21

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard likely has the champagne on ice as his men close in on the Scottish Premiership title, any accusations of the celebrations being somewhat premature likely to be ignored as the Light Blues open up a massive 21-point lead open their Old Firm rivals. Celtic do have three games-in-hand over the runaway league leaders, however Gerrard won’t be too concerned about this given that the Hoops have been hugely unconvincing this season.

The bookmakers clearly feel the same way with most firms going 1/40 on the Premiership trophy ending up at Ibrox at the end of the campaign, this being an implied probability of 98% that Gerrard’s men finish in pole position and deny Celtic their tenth consecutive title. Indeed some bookies even go as low as 1/66 on the Light Blues winning the trophy while Celtic are as much as 20/1 to make it ten-in-a-row this term.

Before the season got underway, Celtic were clear favourites to once again finish top of the Premiership with most bookies going odds-on at around 4/11. The general consensus was that Rangers would provide the Hoops with meaningful opposition for much of the campaign and then fade away as the business end of the campaign came into view. That all changed when Rangers won the first Old Firm derby of the campaign and their odds on winning the title were slashed even further following victory in the second derby match at Parkhead. The business end of the campaign is almost here and Rangers look to be building up a head of steam heading into the final few months. Even if Gerrard’s men were to slow down, Celtic are too far behind to cause them too many concerns and we envisage the Light Blues maintaining their healthy lead into the latter stages of the season.

 

Update: 12.01.21

Celtic’s failure to bag all three points in their Monday-evening meeting with Hibernian was a further blow to their rapidly-diminishing title hopes, Neil Lennon’s side made up largely of second-string players due to the key squad being quarantined following their training adventures in Dubai. The Hoops looked to have secured the win with David Turnbull scoring the opening goal for the hosts in the 81st minute, however Kevin Nisbet banged in an equaliser in stoppage time for a very under-par Hibernian side to deny Lennon’s side all the spoils at Parkhead.

This dour draw leaves Celtic a massive 21 points adrift of Rangers in the Premiership table and while Lennon certainly hasn’t conceded defeat in the race for the league title, it is now very much game over for the nine-in-a-row champions. The bookmakers clearly feel exactly the same way with some firms now going 1/66 odds-on that the title ends up at Ibrox at the close of the campaign.

The Hoops do have three games-in-hand over the league leaders but even if they win each of these, they will still sit twelve points adrift. Lennon will take a glimmer of hope from the fact that Rangers will shortly be returning to European duty and that may well pile pressure on the Light Blues, however in the earlier stages of the campaign Steven Gerrard’s side successfully stormed to the top of the Premiership and made it through the Europa League group stages to earn for themselves a place in the knockout phase.

All-in-all, this looks very much like a one-horse race for the Scottish Premiership title and while Rangers aren’t yet over the line, they appear to be well ahead on the home straight.

 

07.01.21

We’re now into the second half of the Scottish Premiership campaign and it’s becoming clear that Rangers are going to be the ones to beat in the coming weeks. Steven Gerrard’s men have stormed to the summit of the league table on the back of some hugely impressive form and they have qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League, whereas Celtic sit nineteen points adrift in the Premiership (albeit with three games in hand) and limped out of the Europa League after finishing bottom of their group.

Celtic’s dream of winning ten on the bounce are now in tatters and it’s hard to envisage them closing the gap between themselves and their arch-rivals. Neil Lennon’s men have lost each of the opening two Old Firm derby games of the campaign and the Hoops boss is under increasing pressure to deliver. Indeed while Lennon has received the backing of the board on three occasions this season, fans are starting to become frustrated at their side’s failure to keep up with their arch-rivals.

Having avoided defeat in each of their 22 league games thus far, Rangers are massive odds-on favourites to win the Scottish Premiership title with most bookies going 1/33 that the trophy ends up at Ibrox this term. Celtic are second favourites in the market but they are way behind at odds of 10/1, suggesting that this has already become pretty much a one-horse race with the Hoops effectively out of the race.

 

Scottish Premiership Odds from BetVictor Bookmakers

 

1/33 –  Rangers

10/1 –  Celtic