The imminent start of the SPL means the eyes of punters will inevitably be drawn to bwin’s title betting market to assess teams’ chances of success. Here, news.bwin.com/en/ offers its take on the prospects of defending champions Rangers.
Looking further ahead, news.bwin.com/en/ will be providing match previews for all of the SPL’s biggest matches this season, while the site’s comprehensive Stats Centre will offer further insight into the best bets to place.
Manager: Ally McCoist
SPL title odds: 3/2
First match: Hearts (h) – 7/20 to win
Last season: 1st
Players in: Juan Ortiz (Almeria, £500,000)
Players out: Andrew Shinnie (Inverness Caledonian Thistle, free)
Sportfreunde Lotte (a) Lost 1-0
VFL Bochum (a) Lost 3-0
Bayer Leverkusen (a) Lost 2-0
Linfield Won (a) Won 4-1
Blackpool (a) Won 2-0
Key man: Nikica Jelavic
Costing £4 million, Nikica Jelavic was Rangers’ most expensive signing since the acquisition of Mikel Arteta for £5.8 million in 2002. The Croatian proved his worth by scoring 16 goals for the Gers last season, even though injury restricted him to 26 appearances. His success in front of goal will be key to Rangers’ title challenge this season given the departure of Kenny Miller, with the Scot having top-scored for the club in the last campaign despite having signed for Bursaspor in the January transfer window.
Are they worth backing?
Rangers might have won the title for the last three seasons, but they are only second-favourites to win the 2011-12 Scottish Premier League in bwin’s football betting market. A lack of strength in depth was painfully apparent in the club’s pre-season friendlies, leading to concerns that the team will be unable to cope with competing on multiple fronts. A late flurry of transfer activity may have yet inject some much-needed new blood into the team, but it remains to be seen whether this will be sufficient to allow new manager Ally McCoist to carry on where predecessor Walter Smith left off.
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