Andy Halliday has told BBC Sportscene that he feels a different kind of title race is taking shape in the Scottish Premiership this season thanks to Boli Bolingoli’s stupidity – and reckons it could benefit Rangers over Celtic.
Rangers have made a perfect start to the Scottish Premiership campaign, keeping three clean sheets against Aberdeen, Hamilton and St. Johnstone and picking up nine points from a possible nine.
Celtic, meanwhile, have endured a difficult start. Dropping points against Kilmarnock after a win over Hamilton, they sit on four – already five points behind Rangers. They have had their game against Aberdeen postponed.
Rangers can go eight clear already, leaving Celtic playing catch-up. Halliday reckons it is a different dynamic that can work in Steven Gerrard side’s favour, as the Gers look to stop Celtic’s pursuit of 10 in a row.
“Bolingoli’s stupidity has given Rangers a huge opportunity to take advantage of the situation,” Halliday said. “This Celtic team have never been in a position to chase, so it will be interesting.
“They will have these games in hand, but everyone would agree you would rather have the points in the bag.”
TBR’s view – Games in hand is one thing
But as Halliday says, games in hand are nothing until those points are on the board. Rangers already have five more points and even though Celtic have games in hand – the table still reads Rangers are ahead.
It puts pressure on the Celtic players, a kind of pressure that they are not used to and perhaps a kind of pressure that they may struggle to cope with. But that could also be thrown on its head – Rangers have not lead much.
It could benefit Rangers, but it could also benefit Celtic.