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Celtic start their SPL “challenge” against Aberdeen

by Rob Dore | August 4, 2012

NEIL TO CONQUER: It’s never an easy job but it’s a whole lot less hard now (Pic: Inpho)

After all the Rangers related drama of the summer, Celtic’s challenge for the SPL title this season is now felt to be little more than a procession. With Rangers now languishing in the fourth tier of Scottish football anything other than Celtic winning the league would a surprise of farcical proportions.

Today Neil Lennon’s men start their campaign at home to Aberdeen and, as they most likely will be for every SPL game this season, Celtic are odds-on favorites at 2/7.

Celtic weren’t exactly impressive against HJK Helsinki in their Champions League qualifier midweek but they showed good resilience to come back from a goal down to win 2-1. They’re likely to face a similarly uncomfortable task against Craig Brown’s Aberdeen.

Brown has added some attacking options to his side in Niall McGinn and Jonny Hayes and he’ll be hoping they provide more of cutting edge going forward. Former Celtic man McGinn is 14/1 to score first and Hayes is 18/1.

I’m happy to start with Celtic away. When I was with Scotland and involved in the scheduling of fixtures I always wanted to play the bigger nations away from home first. If you go and get something, it’s a great way to start the campaign and if you don’t then you still have a home game against them to come. – Craig Brown

Neil Lennon hasn’t made many changes to his squad over the summer, with goalkeeper Fraser Forster, a £2.5m signing from Newcastle, his only addition. Lennon’s squad is by far the strongest in the league and if he keeps them focused and disciplined they’ll be tough to stop at domestic level.

We pride ourselves on our professionalism and our standards that we have set over the last couple of years and we want to maintain that. – Neill Lennon

Aberdeen’s good pre-season should see them start this game with confidence. At 8/1 to win there’s certainly money to be made on the away side but shock results are unpredictable by nature and it’s hard to look past a home win.

A repeat of Celtic’s midweek scoreline of 2-1 at 7/1 looks about right from this angle.

  • Betting: Celtic v Aberdeen 12.45pm
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