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Scottish Premiership

Hearts injury woes surely hands initiative to Celtic and Rangers in title race

Jay Williams

For the first time in several years, there is a genuine battle at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

In recent years, Celtic in third place by November has been unheard of. But that is testament to the other sides upping the standard of the division.

Realistically, the entire top six have a shot at the Scottish Premiership title.

But the league leaders, Hearts, could fade away now after being hit with injury woes.

Hearts went sprinting out of the blocks this season and have already amassed 25 points from their opening 10 games.

They have a six point lead over third-placed Celtic, although the Bhoys can half the deficit if they win their game in hand.

(photo by Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

And they sit eight points clear of Rangers, who also have a game in hand. But Hearts face a tricky period as they will be without three key players.

They were recently hit with the double blow that defender John Souttar and striker Uche Ikpeazu were set for five-month lay-offs.

And to add to their woes, top scorer Steven Naismith is now looking at a spell on the sidelines.

The Scotland international is the division’s top scorer with seven strikes but he was injured in Hearts’ cup defeat to Celtic yesterday and his absence will be sorely missed.

It won’t just be Celtic and Rangers licking their lips, though. Kilmarnock, Livingston and Hibernian have all started the season brightly and will be eager to keep their place towards the top of the league.

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