Confirmed: Celtic take 6-point lead into post-split; title-win scenarios, key dates, opponents
Celtic will take a six-point lead into the final five matches of the Scottish Premiership season after round 33 of the season this weekend.
A brilliant 7-0 win over St Johnstone on Saturday has set the Bhoys up very nicely for the run-in, making today’s Rangers match almost irrelevant.
Nonetheless, it’s worth pointing out they did win themselves, meaning Ange Postecoglou and the Bhoys know exactly what they have to do to lift the league title.
Who will Celtic play after the split?
The top six line-up was completed yesterday and Celtic’s final five games of the season will come against: Rangers, Hearts, Dundee United, Ross County and Motherwell.
We don’t know the order of when these matches will be played at the time of publishing.
However, the expectation is that the Rangers, Hearts and Motherwell games will take place at Celtic Park. Dundee United and Ross County will be played on the road. This has yet to be confirmed by the SPFL.
Hopefully, we hear word on that sooner rather than later!
On what dates will Celtic’s matches be played?
While we don’t officially know who slots in where, we do have the dates – or at least weekends – of when Celtic will be playing their final five league fixtures. They are:
Matchday 34 – Weekend April 23rd
Matchday 35 – Weekend April 30th
Matchday 36 – Weekend May 7th
Matchday 37 – Wednesday May 11th
Matchday 38 – Sunday May 15th
It has been reported by The Daily Record that the final league match at home to Rangers will be played on the weekend of April 23rd, though again, this hasn’t been confirmed.
Should Celtic make it past Rangers in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup, then the final against Hearts or Hibernian will be played on Saturday May 21st.
When can Celtic win the title?
While Postecoglou and the players will be stressing nothing is over until it is over, there is a countdown happening in many Celtic supporters’ heads. That’s only natural. Everyone feels like we are on the brink.
If Celtic play Rangers in the first game post-split then it is impossible to win the title in a match against them.
If we win that derby at Celtic Park then we could theoretically win the title on the weekend of April 30th, if Celtic were to win and Rangers were to drop points in round 35. In that scenario, we’re at least 11 points clear with three games remaining.
If Celtic win the derby and then both teams follow that with a victory then the weekend of May 7th is the one to watch out for.
If Rangers win the derby? Well then it’s all rather complicated isn’t it? We’d be best not to contemplate that unless it happens!
We need a maximum of ten points from the remaining five matches to win the league. If we beat Rangers, we only need seven. None of this takes into account Celtic’s massive goal difference advantage.
The key message is that Celtic still have a lot of work to do to get over the line and win more silverware this season, starting with two massive derbies over the next couple of weeks.