'Things have changed' – Alex Rae reveals why Celtic have to fear Rangers in title race
Rangers cut Celtic’s lead at the top of the Premiership to nine points with their 5-3 win over Hamilton, and former player Alex Rae believes that the title race is on.
Rangers get the chance to cut the last to just six points if they beat Hearts at Ibrox on Saturday, with Celtic set for a tough match against Aberdeen on Sunday after a gruelling trip to Russia on Thursday for the Europa League.
The two bitter rivals then face each other in the Old Firm Derby in a couple of weeks and it’s not a massive stretch of the imagination to think that the gap could be three points after that game.
That’s certainly the view of Rae, who said in the Daily Record: “I felt Celtic would win this title by a minimum of 15 points – and they still might – but things have changed.
“Now there is a chance for Rangers and Aberdeen to ask some questions of this Celtic team.
“It’s a remarkable scenario that if Rangers and Aberdeen both win then they will both be just six points behind Celtic with 10 games to go.
“Looking at Sunday’s game at Pittodrie you have to say that it’s probably the best opportunity that Aberdeen will have of beating Celtic.
“With Celtic playing tomorrow night in Russia and then involved in a long journey home, and then the long journey to Aberdeen, there is going to be an effect on them mentally and physically.
If you look at the points that Celtic have dropped in the league this season most of them have been after European games.
“And if Rangers and Aberdeen both win at the weekend then all of a sudden you start to look a couple of weeks down the line and the next Old Firm game.
“There would then be huge added significance to what is already a massive match.”
However, in the same article, former Celtic star Alan Stubbs completely disagrees.
“It is not going to happen, certainly not this season,” Stubbs said.
“Rangers have improved and picked up well in recent weeks and months but there is no denying there is still a massive gulf between the two sides.”
Celtic swept everyone away in the Scottish Premiership last season, winning the title by 30 points from Aberdeen with Rangers trailing a further nine points back in third.
Whatever happens between now and the end of the season it looks like the gulf between the two sides has narrowed – and that can only be a good thing for Scottish football.
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