Monday, March 05, 2012


A couple of weeks ago, I noted that there was a distinct risk that Celtic would win the league at the next Old Firm match at Ibrox in a couple of weeks. Under the circumstances, I felt that this was extremely worrying, and that it would be better if they could win the league absolutely anywhere else. (That they will win the league isn't really in question - it's just a question of where and when.)

Fortunately, Celtic dropped points at the weekend, and although Rangers lost their match the mathematics has changed.

If Celtic win the Old Firm match, that will now place them on 78 points. If Rangers win all of their other matches, they could (in theory) also reach 78 points. Furthermore, if Motherwell win all of their remaining matches, they too can reach 78 points.

In order for Celtic to win the league at Ibrox, then, they need Rangers to first drop points at Dundee United, and for Motherwell to drop points against either Aberdeen or Kilmarnock. (Plus, of course, they would need to win the match at Ibrox.) Granted, that's not a hugely unlikely sequence of results, but it seems much less likely than the previous "win all your games, and expect Rangers won't win all of theirs" - this now depends on two teams dropping points rather than one, and is almost entirely out of Celtic's hands.

Of course, there's still virtually no doubt that Celtic will win the league - any two wins and a draw in their remaining games will guarantee that. It's just now more likely that they'll do so at Celtic park on 1st April (against St Johnstone) than at Ibrox. And that's much less of a powder keg.

All in all, it's a bit of a relief.

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