November 1 2014 may seem like a strange time to be contemplating the destination of the 2015/16 Scottish Premiership but, with bwin having priced up the season of Rangers’ next top-flight title after some intriguing comments from former Celtic hero Charlie Nicholas, acting now could see punters pouch a stellar 7/1 about the Ibrox club.
The Sky Sports talking head is quoted as saying the following in the Daily Record:
“It wouldn’t take a lot of investment to make Rangers able to compete with Celtic. I don’t know if you can talk in terms of finances.
“But if you look at their squad I’d say they are potentially only four players away.”
On the proviso that the ‘Gers make good on their bid to gain a third straight promotion this season it’s an enormous price about a side Nicholas has suggested are far from light years away from omnipotent Old Firm rivals Celtic, despite their on-going financial turmoil.
And the example of Liverpool’s ultimately ill-fated title bid suggests that Rangers could land one on the Bhoys by wrestling back the title in their first campaign back behind the velvet rope.
The Anfield Club had been on another planet from the Premier League’s real movers and shakers in 2012/13 but, having improved over the summer they were aided in sustaining a genuine championship bid by a lack of European involvement while all around the suffered from the extra exertion.
Nicholas’ suggestion that the Old Firm sides’ squads, not just teams, are only around four players apart, suggests he believes Ally McCoist’s men could already be a force in the Premiership now, let alone next year, when one (or indeed more) of their rivals could be stretched by involvement in matters continental.
After all Celtic, already seemingly adrift in a post Neil-Lennon decline, have won just once in five domestic fixtures following European engagements this season.
Back in the here and now, Rangers’ promotion bid looks more than realistic, with the Glasgow boys seven points behind unbeaten Hearts in the Championship with a game in hand.