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July 21, 2017

SPFL Title 2017/18

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With the new season almost upon us its not who will win the SPFL Title 2017/18 but who will finish 2nd in the league behind Celtic.  This is not being disrespectful to the others here but I think Celtic are still light years ahead of every other team in the SPFL.

My 3 contenders are Hearts, Rangers & Aberdeen and here we’ll take a look at how I feel their chances are.

 

Rangers

Rangers replaced manager Mark Warburton mid season last year with Pedro. This will be the season Pedro is properly judged and rightly so.  Many called for him to be replaced after only a few months when he failed to secure 2nd spot behind Champions Celtic and failed to make an impact on the derbies which, for Rangers fans, was unacceptable. Losing 5-1 to your rivals at home caused uproar among the fans and now leaves Pedro with limited time im my opinion to get it right this year.  I fear a few bad results in the early part of the season could see Rangers looking for their third manager in as many seasons.  Pedro has recruited in the close season allowing some decent Scottish talent to leave and replacing them with fellow Portuguese players but IMO only Alves is worthy of signing. Will they challenge for title? Sorry but no! Will they fight for 2nd place? Of course…… but will they finish 2nd? No sorry not for me yet, too many unpredictable players untried in our league and a manager who is weak and cant be trusted to deliver.

In: Bruno Alves, defender; Graham Dorrans, midfielder; Alfredo Morelos, forward; Ryan Jack, midfielder; Fabio Cardoso, defender; Daniel Candeias, midfielder; Carlos Pena, midfielder; Eduardo Herrera, forward. Loan: Dalcio, midfielder.

Out: Barrie McKay; Joe Garner,  Matt Crooks,  Billy Gilmour,  Philippe Senderos,  Max Ashmore,  Jordan Gibson,  Amin Bouzaig,  Sam Jamieson,  Josh Jeffries.

Loan ended: Emerson Hyndman,  Jon Toral.

Loan: Andy Halliday, Robby McCrorie, Kyle Bradley.

 

Rangers to finish 2nd 1/1

 

 

Aberdeen

Aberdeen may have lost some very good players in Ryan Jack, Johnny Hayes and McGinn but they have also replaced them with players of similar quality. Aberdeen showed last year just how far they have come in recent years by fending of challenges by the rest of the pack last year. It was without doubt Aberdeens biggest challenge, with Hearts and Rangers running them close. They also made finals and only lost to the “invincible” Celtic in those.  Will they push Celtic all the way? Yes! Will they finish 2nd? Yes ! I think they will after last years confidence booster will help them believe they can out finish Rangers to get that 2nd place. The defining moment for me would be the manager re-signing a new contract and remaining with the Reds.

 

In: Gary Mackay-Steven,  Kari Arnason,  Greg Tansey,  Nicky Maynard.

Loan: Greg Stewart, Ryan Christie.

Out: Jonny Hayes,  Ryan Jack,  Niall McGinn,  Ash Taylor, defender  Peter Pawlett,  Neil Alexander,  Cammy Smith, Aaron Lennox,  Lawrence Shankland,  Joe Nuttall, Robbie Mutch, Jamie Henry,  Dylan Thomas,  Aaron Norris.

 

Aberdeen to finish 2nd 5/4

 

 

Hearts

Some may find it strange I have included Hearts in the trio & not Hibs or other teams but for me Hibs first season back in the top division, a 2nd place finish may be a step too far just yet. I think their Edinburgh rivals will finish in the top 6 easily but wont push for a top 3 finish this year. Hearts are still a way off also though. I am very unsure of the set up at Hearts just now with Cathro as manager with Craig Levein & questions still remain of who is actually in charge of the day to day running of the team. They have recruited well this year for their 2nd year in the top division again but fear it would be far too much to exepect them to push for 2nd place.  I think they will cause upsets with good results against the other two pushing for 2nd but will ultimately finish 4th behind Aberdeen and Rangers mainly due to losing Paterson, Kitchen & Nicholson.

 

In: Kyle Lafferty,  Christophe Berra,  Rafal Grzelak,  Michael Smith, Cole Stockton.

Loan: Ashley Smith-Brown.

Out: Callum Paterson,  Perry Kitchen, Sam Nicholson,  Faycal Rherras,  Gavin Reilly,  Billy King,  Robbie Buchanan, Alexandros Tziolis,  Andraz Struna,  Tasos Avlonitis,  Juwon Oshaniwa,  Dylan Bikey,  Dale Baxter.

Loan ended: Moha Choulay. Loan: Nikolay Todorov, Ally Roy,  Harry Paton,  Andrew Irving,  Callum Morrison.

 

Hearts to finish 2nd 14/1

 

 

So to summarize I think Celtic will win the title again for a 7th time by 12pts + with Aberdeen 2nd, Rangers 3rd & Hearts 4th.

 

Bonusbanters resident tipster gives us Aberdeen 5/4

 

These odds are brought to you from Coral

Coral Sports Betting

 

 

 






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