31 Jul SPFL Premiership Preview: Celtic
Celtic took a while to hit top form in Ronny Deila’s first season in charge but with a full campaign behind them expect the Hoops to continue how they left off at the end of last term.
Deila has repeatedly stressed his desire for consistency in his squad and being able to hold on to his key players. It would seem he has managed to do that barring any last-minute deals to take the highly rated Virgil van Dijk away.
Dedryck Boyata looks a fine replacement for Jason Denayer and has already shown his value by scoring two important goals in Europe, while Nadir Ciftci bolsters their attacking options after John Guidetti’s departure.
It’s difficult to see where a challenge to their supremacy might come from. Aberdeen ran them close for two-thirds of the season last year partly because of Celtic’s sluggish start and also because of the Dons’ terrific unbeaten run. Hearts and Dundee United are probably just behind Derek McInnes’s side but on their day could cause Celtic problems.
The Hoops narrowly missed out on the treble last season and that will be the target once again for Deila’s men but as ever their season will be judged on their performances and success in Europe
IN: Dedryck Boyata (Manchester City), Saidy Janko (Manchester United), Logan Bailly (OH Leuven), Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United)
OUT: Teemu Pukki (Brondby), Lukasz Zaluska, Joe Chalmers (Motherwell), Jason Denayer (loan ended), John Guidetti (loan ended), Aleksandar Tonev (loan ended), Mubarak Wakaso (loan ended), Jackson Irvine (Ross County), John Herron (Blackpool), Holmbert Fridjonsson (KR Reykjavik), Paul McMullan (St Mirren, loan), Stuart Findlay (Kilmarnock, loan), Amido Balde (FC Metz), Adam Matthews (Sunderland)