Celtic have had their worst start to a league campaign since the 1998/99 season undr Jozef Venglos.

The Bhoys sit in sixth place, having only picked up 10 points in their opening six matches. They are already six points behind leaders Hearts and trail rivals Rangers as well.

After the worst start in 20 years, we take a look at that side from the 1998/99 season and compare it to this year.

Did Celtic turn it around back then and can this team still go on and win the league?

Manager and team

Dr Jozef Venglos had just left his role as Oman manager. Mandatory Credit: Clive Brunskill /Allsport

Celtic appointed former Oman manager Venglos for the 1998/99 season. The Czechslovakian replaced Wim Jansen, who has resigned after winning the league title.

There were many memorable names in this squad, particularly Henrik Larsson.

Other big names included Craig Burley, Jackie McNamara, Lubo Moravcik, Paul Lambert, Morten Wieghorst and Mark Viduka.

Poor start

After a mixed pre-season, Celtic started the campaign in imperious fashion. They thrashed Dunfermline 5-0, courtesy of a Burley hat-trick.

But this was followed by a 3-2 loss at Aberdeen. Celtic bounced back in their next home game, picking up a win against Dundee United.

But three draws followed: away at Dundee, at home to Kilmarnock and then away against Rangers.

A home loss to St Johnstone and then a home draw against Hearts stretched Celtic’s win-less run to five games.

By the end of September, the Bhoys had won just two games and had already been dumped out of the Champions League by Dinamo Zagreb.

Their fortunes in the League Cup were not much better as Airdrie shocked the holders and dumped them out in the Third Round.


Henrik Larsson hit a stunning 38 goals in all competitions. Mandatory Credit: Clive Brunskill /Allsport

Celtic did recover quite well in this season and go on to achieve relative success. However, their poor start ultimately cost them the league title.

Rangers picked up 77 points from their 36 games, pipping Celtic to the crown by six points.

By mid-April, the title was a two-horse race. Celtic had not been beaten in 10 games and had won eight of those.

But fresh off the back of beating Aberdeen 5-1 away, Celtic lost to St Johnstone. This was followed by a 3-0 loss against Rangers at home and the dream was over.

Furthermore, Celtic lost the Scottish Cup final to rivals Rangers as well as Rod Wallace scored the only goal in that game at Hampden Park.

But there were some positives to take from the season. Celtic were the top scorers in the whole division.

And Larsson, the Sweden international, was prolific in front of goal, with 29 league goals and 38 in all competitions.

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