Scottish Premiership Winners Prediction
It’s becoming almost impossible to bet against Celtic at this stage, and odds of 1/3 are actually pretty fair despite their short look.
Relatively speaking, they struggled at the beginning of last season under Ronny Deilla, with Hearts and Aberdeen both pushing hard to dislodge them. Aberdeen did manage to sustain a title challenge for longer than usual, but eventually they succumbed to a spell of poor form and ended up finishing 15 points adrift of winners Celtic.
Now they have a top quality manager in Brendan Rodgers at the helm, and I wouldn’t expect them to be starting slowly this season.
They have by far the best squad in the Scottish Premiership and have brought in a much needed defensive reinforcement in Kolo Toure. They have also signed the promising teenage striker Moussa Dembele and have the ever improving Patrick Roberts in their ranks. Their entire squad value is in the region of five times greater than the next highest Rangers.
According to the bookies, Rangers are the second favourites for the title having been re-promoted to the top flight last season. I would argue that they have been out of the top ranks for long enough to make this season a bit of a struggle for them, so I don’t expect them to be mounting much of a title challenge.
Scottish Premiership Winners Prediction (without Celtic and Rangers)
Aberdeen have finished as runners up in each of the last two Scottish Premiership seasons, and even with the return of Hearts last year they managed to outdo them for the majority of the season. Hearts did make an excellent start but Aberdeen kept pace with them and continued their run of good form once Hearts dropped off the boil.
Despite their big drop off in form once the title race was over they still finished the season six points ahead of Hearts in 3rd, and so far this summer they have managed to keep hold of the majority of their key players and have brought in a few useful reinforcements to increase their strength in depth.
Overall I think odds of 4/6 for them to finish 3rd or higher in the table offer a lot of value, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they claimed the runners up spot as well.
Scottish Premiership ‘To Finish Bottom’ Prediction
Hamilton Academical struggled last season as they finished 3rd from bottom, and if it hadn’t been for Kilmarnock’s torrid run they would have been in for a relegation playoff. However, Kilmarnock have made some improvements which could prove key in improving their fortunes. Souleymane Coulibaly has been brought in from Peterborough to strengthen their weak attack, and they have managed to hold on to most of their key players too.
Hamilton Academical, on the other hand, have next to no transfer budget and have lost the likes of Michael McGovern and Ziggy Gordon so far this summer. The only notable player they have managed to bring in is Georgios Sarris at centre back, but their problems up front are likely to persist.
I would expect it to be a battle between Kilmarnock and Hamilton Academical at the foot of the table, but over the course of the season I would expect Hamilton’s lack of incoming players to be their downfall.
Scottish Premiership Top Goalscorer Prediction
The 25 year old Scotland striker romped to the Golden Boot last season with a huge 31 league goals, with the next highest being Dundee FC’s Hemmings on 21. Moussa Dembele is the only arrival at Celtic to rival Leigh Griffith’s up front, but his tender age will probably mean he’ll play more of a supporting role. Griffiths will still be the main man up front, and with Celtic almost undoubtedly ending up as the highest scorers in the league it’s a very good value bet to back him for the Golden Boot again.
Martyn Waghorn is the only potential challengers coming into the league, but I’m not expecting Rangers to do as well as many predict. Celtic scored 31 more goals than any other team in the Scottish Premiership last season, and I’m predicting the same level of dominance this year. With Griffith’s leading the line and in his prime, you can be sure he’ll be among the top scorers and odds of 3/1 look excellent value.