Celtic have been handed an initial title-race advantage over rivals
It has been around five weeks since Ange Postecoglou’s side lifted the Scottish Premiership title, but for many, that has felt like a lifetime ago.
The wait for Celtic to make a return will feel even longer this summer, with the Hoops not having to face the early rounds of Champions League qualifying.
However, the buzz for next season finally appears to have gotten underway with the announcement of the fixtures for the 2022/23 campaign and the first 11 look more comfortable for Celtic than Rangers on paper.
Ange Postecoglou and his players will be hoping to get off to a brilliant start this coming season after the boost of confidence from what they achieved last year.
Looking at the fixtures, as always, the Celtic manager will be keen to stress that he is only looking at his own side rather than the fixtures or results of others. Us fans, however, can have a little more fun. It’s inevitable we’ll be looking over the fence.
Although Postecoglou won’t admit anything of the sort, Celtic may have been handed an early advantage over their rivals in the opening round of games.
Especially when you consider the fact that in their first six away fixtures, they take on Livingston, Hibernian, Celtic, Aberdeen, Hearts and Motherwell.
During that same time period, Postecoglou’s side will face the same four opponents and the Ibrox side, all at Celtic Park.
It is very much roles reversed from last season, when Celtic had a difficult opening to the campaign, having to travel to some of the most challenging venues in the league first.
We saw first-hand how difficult that was for Postecoglou and his squad, who were still undergoing a rebuild at that time, and the Bhoys ended up dropping points on multiple occasions in their first eleven games.
Surely we won’t be playing catch-up this time around?
Of course, our players still have a job to do by picking up as many points as possible to open the season, and that is the message Postecoglou will be sending out. Everything is earned in this league.
For now, though, we can at least say that the immediate upcoming schedule looks kinder for us than it does for them. We have to make it count.
In other news, Celtic’s big opportunity after SPFL announcement.