football

Scottish Premier League 17/18 Review

June 11, 2018

- Grant Whittington

Celtic’s remarkable record-breaking 69-game unbeaten domestic run finally came to a spectacular end in January as Hearts thrashed Brendan Rodgers men 4-0 at Tynecastle. Despite this, the Hoops went on to carve another piece of football history as they became the first team in Scottish football history to complete successive Trebles – the haul including a seventh consecutive League title.

Elsewhere, Aberdeen held off a late surge from Rangers to finish runners-up for the fourth year running by defeating the champions in their own backyard on the final day of the campaign to become the first Scottish team to inflict a home defeat on Brendan Rodgers’ side.

Rangers will be hoping Liverpool icon Steven Gerrard can restore former glories to Ibrox as they secured back-to-back third place finishes since their return to the top tier of Scottish football two years ago. The Gers went through two sackings, beginning the season with Pedro Caixinha who was sacked after just seven months in charge following a reign which was described as “a desperate mess from start to finish.”

Following a successful interim period, Grame Murty was placed in control until the end of the campaign. Unfortunately, his second spell in charge was brought to a hasty end after two thrashings in April at the hands of their Old Firm rivals in the Scottish Cup and league respectively. The latter – a 5-0 hammering at Celtic Park confirmed a magnificent seventh for Scotland’s finest side.

The renaissance of Kris Boyd at Kilmarnock wasn’t enough to push the Killies into the top four, thus missing out on a coveted Europa League spot. The 34-year-old rolled back the years as he registered 18 goals to finish as the division’s leading marksman, but it proved to be futile as Hibernian claimed the final European place in their first season back in the top flight. Boyd now has 167 Scottish Premier League goals – the most of any player in the competition’s history.

At the other end of the table, Ross County’s six-year stay in the Ladbrokes Premiership is over after they managed just half a dozen wins the entire season. They will be joined by Partick Thistle whose demotion was made definite by a 3-1 aggregate play-off final loss to Livingston. Despite this disappointment, the Jags have confirmed that Alan Archibald will remain in the Firhill Stadium hot seat, but it is set to be a long road back with Scottish football finance expert Neil Patey suggesting the relegation could cost the club more than £1m.

New Douglas Park will once again host Premier division football as Martin Canning’s Hamilton Academical secured Premiership football for a fifth season. In spite of being unable to muster a solitary point in May, the Accies all but secured their Premiership status going into the final day, with Thistle needing to win at Dundee and overturn a vastly superior goal difference.

Seventh place Motherwell enjoyed a superb run in the Scottish Cup, but their 2-0 defeat in the final meant their wait for a first trophy since 1991 goes on. Fellow mid-table sides such as Hearts and St Johnstone will hope to strengthen over the summer, but it is going to take something extra special to stop Celtic from making it number eight next year. They may not have been indestructible this time round, but they still remained unstoppable.

Will Steven Gerrard’s Rangers have enough quality to compete with Celtic in the upcoming 18/19 season? Or is it going to be business as usual for Celtic? With huge odds for Rangers to win the title; our offering of free bets will go a long way if they do manage to be triumphant next season.

 

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