The last decade has been extremely fruitful for Celtic F.C. The Hoops have picked up a variety of major honours including eight league titles and four Scottish Cups. It’s been one of the most dominant periods in the club’s history.
Most of Celtic’s recent success was achieved while bitter rivals Rangers were playing in the lower divisions. However, Steven Gerrard’s men are back to their best and look like they’re ready to compete for titles once again. Can Celtic keep them at bay and win the Scottish Premiership for the ninth consecutive year?
Neil Lennon’s team has made a strong start to the season. The Bhoys laid down a marker when they beat Rangers 2-0 at Ibrox at the start of September. However, can they maintain that intensity for the rest of the campaign? Let’s take a look at some of the biggest tests Celtic face this season.
UEFA Europa League
The Hoops qualified for the group stages of the Europa League in emphatic fashion. Neil Lennon’s team beat Swedish side AIK 6-1 on aggregate to set up ties against Rennes, CFR Cluj, and Lazio. While this is an exciting time for the fans, history suggests that the competition can have a huge impact on league performances.
Europa League games usually take place on Thursday evenings. This means that Celtic will only have two full days to prepare for their Scottish Premiership games the following Sunday. Is this enough time for Neil Lennon to get his team in shape? There are plenty of decent teams in the SPL. Celtic will need to be at their best to collect maximum points on a regular basis.
However, bitter rivals Rangers have the same dilemma. Steven Gerrard will have to find a solution to the same problem if he wants to bring the title back to Ibrox for the first time since 2011.
The latest football tips from Bonusbets.com suggest that squad rotation will be vital this season. If Celtic want to lift the title for the ninth consecutive year, Neil Lennon will need to keep his players fresh. The Northern Irish man will need to prioritise certain competitions. For instance, he could play a full-strength team in the league and bring fringe players in for Scottish Cup games.
Furthermore, the risk of a key player sustaining an injury increases when the Hoops are playing several times per week. If a superstar like Odsonne Edouard or Scott Brown gets injured, does Lennon have suitable reinforcements at his disposal? Celtic have a large squad with plenty of depth, but those types of players are irreplaceable.
Thrilling Season Ahead
If you’re a neutral, it’s shaping up to be a fantastic season. Both Celtic and Rangers look extremely strong. It’s all to play for. Teams like Aberdeen, Hibernian, and Kilmarnock will also play a huge role. If they can take points off the top two teams, it’ll make the title race even more interesting. All we can do is sit back, relax, and watch the drama unfold.