By Kevin Phillips

16th Oct, 2021 | 10:25am

English pundit makes Celtic title claim after Sutton's 'daft' Rangers comments surface

Kevin Phillips has insisted Celtic will be “there or thereabouts” in the Scottish Premiership title race this season.

The former Sunderland striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed Rangers were his favourites to retain the trophy but maintained the Hoops are not “a million miles away”.

Celtic currently trail the Ibrox club by six points after eight games with both sides encountering some poor early-season form.

Writing in the Daily Record on Monday (October 11th), Parkhead icon Chris Sutton claimed it would be “daft” to demand Ange Postecoglou’s side win the title this season, but insisted the feat was still possible.

Prior to the international break, Postecoglou said it was “remarkable” that some were appearing to count Celtic out of the title race after just seven games.

Phillips hailed the work Steven Gerrard has done with Rangers after his maiden title success last term.

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“The Celtic fans will expect to win the league every season,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“I definitely think they will be there or thereabouts this season.

“However, what Steven Gerrard has done with Rangers and what they’ve produced has left them with some catching up to do – but they’re not a million miles away.

“Obviously Chris Sutton knows better than me, I never played up in Scotland. But when Celtic have a poor season like last season, I expect them to get players in who can challenge.

“Rangers are probably my favourites to win the title this season.

“But if they do win it, Celtic will regroup and definitely challenge next time round with the new manager.

Postecoglou’s side face high-flying Motherwell in league action today at Fir Park.

Meanwhile, early pace-setters Rangers host second-place Hearts at Ibrox.

In other news, pundit delivers verdict after Celtic star angles for exit.