What Celtic need to do to cut Scottish Premiership points gap to 4 after Rangers win

By John McGinley

December 19, 2020

Today threatened to be a big day for Celtic in the Scottish Premiership title race.

Motherwell found themselves ahead at Ibrox against Rangers, before capitulating in the final 20 minutes and losing 3-1.

It means that Steven Gerrard’s side are now a massive 16 points ahead at the top of the Scottish Premiership table.

However, as you know, that’s not as it seems.

The Celtic deficit

Celtic now have three games in hand on the Ibrox outfit.

One at home to Aberdeen, another at home to St Mirren and a fixture away to Livingston.

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The matches against the Dons and the Buddies have yet to be re-arranged.

The Livi match has been pencilled in for January 20th, days after a weekend clash at home to the West Lothian outfit.

Another match against St Mirren will also be postponed because of their involvement in the Betfred Cup semi-final. That means we’ll have a three-game deficit even after facing Livingston.

Although these points cannot be banked as a sure thing, given our form this season, winning all three would theoretically cut the points gap to seven, all things being equal.

Celtic must win at Ibrox

The biggest challenge when cutting this points gap may come before any of those games in hand. Winning at Ibrox.

Yes, we managed that last season of course, but Rangers are a different animal this term. They’ve shown remarkable consistency, only losing to St Mirren in this year’s competitions.

Celtic need to win this fixture and immediately take a chunk out of the points lead they’ve amassed to date.

If we aren’t as close as 13 points, or better, on January 2nd then it’s probably curtains for ten-in-a-row.

If Celtic win the derby, and all the games in hand, then the 16 point gap will only be four. That’s a title race margin.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon / (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Celtic consistency

We also need to batter through all our upcoming fixtures ahead of the Ibrox trip.

The Scottish Cup won’t decide anything in the league, but a defeat to hearts would be a fatal blow to the recent uptick in momentum.

So yes. All this is to say. Celtic need to keep winning. Even if Rangers do too, we can still close the gap considerably on our Ibrox rivals.

All is not lost, but it’s quite a task ahead of Neil Lennon and his team.

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