By Matt Farr
Celtic legend Stiliyan Petrov believes the club has what it takes to win consecutive domestic trebles for the first time.
The Hoops are cruising towards a potential treble haul this season, having already won the Scottish League Cup this season, while they are 19 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership.
They face Albion Rovers in the Scottish Cup on Sunday, and Petrov is confident that Brendan Rodgers’ side can maintain their unbeaten domestic season.
The 37-year-old spent seven years at Celtic, making 312 appearances for the club, and was part of the side that won the domestic treble under Martin O’Neill in 2000-01.
O’Neill’s victory was the last time that Celtic achieved the feat, but Petrov believes that Celtic have the perfect opportunity to extend their dominance in Scotland for several more years.
He even thinks that Celtic could complete the incredible feat of winning back-to-back domestic trebles, something that no manager in Scotland has done before.
He told the Daily Record: “I’d say it’s a great opportunity for Celtic to win back-to-back Trebles.
“If Rangers don’t regroup and don’t get better, don’t start buying, which will be difficult to do given their financial difficulties, then there is big potential for Celtic to win the treble for the next couple of years.
“Celtic are way too strong for everyone right now. They have top players with power and pace. They will rule Scotland for years to come.”
No manager has yet succeeded in an attempt to land successive clean sweeps, with former Rangers manager Walter Smith coming the closest to the remarkable achievement.
He led Rangers to the domestic treble in the 1992-93 season, and then won both the Premiership and the League Cup the following season. However, they were beaten in the final of the Scottish Cup by Dundee United.
Brendan Rodgers, however, still has plenty of work to do to even get close to winning back-to-back trebles. While it would take Celtic some miracle to fail to lift the Scottish Premiership title from their current position, success on all fronts is not yet guaranteed.
Their meeting with Albion on Saturday is only the fourth round of the competition, and the route to the final will not be an easy one.
Even if they can achieve the treble this campaign, it will be even more challenging to go and do it again next season, particularly if they find success in the Champions League as well.
In other Celtic news, the Hoops are in talks over a deal for this attacker.