Could Rangers pip Celtic to the Scottish Premiership title next season?


After four difficult years, Rangers are back in the Scottish Premiership and that means two things. Firstly, Scottish football gets a huge boost and should attract more media attention in 2016-17 – if nothing else, Rangers’ return to the top flight should mean that the division is a lot more competitive next season. But secondly – and perhaps most importantly for the people of Glasgow – the Old Firm will return. And that means fireworks…

There will be three Old Firm derbies throughout the league campaign; the first will be held at Celtic Park on September 10th, the second will take place at Ibrox on New Year’s Eve and the final encounter will be back at Celtic Park on March 11th. But if truth be told, you could claim that the entire season will feel like an Old Firm derby, with both clubs laughing and jeering whenever their old rivals drop points.

Many believe that Celtic should emerge victorious over the course of the campaign and rightly so. Brendan Rodgers didn’t exactly get off to the best of starts in their Champions League qualifying clash with Lincoln Red Imps but the Bhoys should be strong enough to hold their city rivals off in the title race. Celtic have the recent title-winning experience and all signs point towards the men in green and white for the Scottish Premiership once again.

However, Rangers are no slouches and they deserve plenty of respect. Mark Warburton’s men defeated Celtic in their Scottish Cup semi-final at the end of last season and Rangers will try to use that as motivation for the upcoming campaign. This truly is one of the oldest and fiercest rivalries in British football and Rangers, priced at 11/4 in Bet365’s football betting odds, could be about to take a monumental step by winning the title in their first season back in the top flight. Back-to-back Championship AND Premiership titles would be an extraordinary feat to say the least…

Because on their day, Rangers are a capable side. They’re capable of producing a moment of magic and are incredibly difficult to beat when they are at their brilliant best. While they don’t possess the ‘big name’ players just yet, Warburton’s men will begin to attract some of the top stars as they look to rebuild and compete for silverware on a yearly basis. If truth be told, Rangers probably won’t expect to win the title next season but they will expect to challenge – and that’s the least they can do.

Rangers’ ardent and passionate supporters have stuck with the club through thick and thin over the last few years and it is now time for the Glasgow side to pay their loyal followers back. And what better way to show their gratitude than with a famous title victory over their arch-rivals in their first season back in the Scottish Premiership? It is the stuff of dreams but right now, Rangers are living that dream and that incredible vision could blossom into a fabulous reality by May 2017…

S Douglas

Football writer amongst other things.