What’s in Store for Celtic in 2024?

Image for What’s in Store for Celtic in 2024?

Celtic collected an acclaimed treble under manager Ange Postecoglou as they won the Scottish Premiership, Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup last season.

The Australian manager subsequently secured a move to the Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur, and Celtic reappointed Brendan Rodgers.

He had been in charge of the club between May 2016 and February 2019, and cemented his legacy by winning a ton of trophies.

However, his departure to Leicester City left a bitter taste in the mouths of Celtic fans, and his return to Parkhead was not met with universal approval.

The pressure intensified when Celtic made an early exit from the Scottish League Cup, dashing their hopes of a claiming a clean sweep of the domestic trophies.

Their Champions League exit only added to their woes as they crashed out of the tournament without a win until their final group game against Feyenoord.

The Hoops started their domestic campaign with 13 wins and three draws from their first 16 games, before suffering defeats against Kilmarnock and Hearts.

They have since rattled off four consecutive victories, including one over Rangers, but many fans remain unconvinced that Rodgers is the right man for the job.

Rodgers Remains in the Spotlight

Many Celtic fans were still scarred by Rodgers’ abrupt Leicester defection, with his previous exit casting a long shadow on every decision.

The early League Cup and Champions League exits did not do him any favours. Despite the strong league start, two consecutive defeats in December sparked plenty of discontent.

The pressure has clung to Rodgers like a wet skin, with every stumble drawing sighs from the Parkhead faithful. Every victory is also scrutinised against Postecoglou’s treble.

However, amidst the storm, it is important to acknowledge the nuance. Rodgers has Celtic on their way to winning another Scottish title despite the club underperforming.

The media has tried to paint a picture of a club in crisis mode, but those talks are just that – talks.

There have been rumours of a rift between the board and Rodgers, especially after a sluggish summer transfer window that was impacted by several injuries to key players.

However, Rodgers has squashed those talks, aligning himself with the top brass. He has declared that he will turn things around, and that notion found vindication with the win against Rangers.

Celtic should not be under any illusions that the league title is secured, but they are eight points ahead of the club from Ibrox and well-placed to get the job done.

Could the Ibrox club be the Value Bet?

Celtic’s mini-blip in December sparked talk in online betting circles that the Ibrox side could be the value bet in this season’s title race.

If they win their two games in hand, they would be just two points behind the Hoops and would fancy their chances of winning the title.

However, the 2-1 victory over the Ibrox side on December 30 was a timely reminder that the balance of power in Glasgow remains in the green half of Glasgow.

The best betting apps agree with that viewpoint, with Celtic rated as 4/9 shots to claim top spot. By contrast, they can be backed at odds of 13/8.

While Rodgers’ side cannot allow complacency to creep in over the next few weeks, sports bettors know that points in the bag are traditionally better than games in hand.

Rangers are applying pressure, but Celtic have their fate in their own hands and still rate as a banker bet to win their third successive league title.

Squad Reinforcements Would be Handy

If Celtic want to maintain their lead at the top of the table by the end of the season and emerge victorious in the Scottish Cup, they must bolster their ranks.

Celtic need proven stars to refresh the squad during the January transfer window, and Rodgers will hope they can get some good players through the door early.

One area the Hoops will be keen on reinforcing is the centre-forward position. Midfielder Matt O’Riley is their top scorer in the league with ten goals, and they are reportedly looking for a striker to carry the scoring burden.

Aberdeen hitman Bojan Miovski is reportedly on Celtic’s radar, but it is unclear if the Scottish Premiership champions can afford the 24-year-old.

The Hoops also need a holding midfielder to screen and protect their backline. Finding the right player who can seamlessly integrate into Rodgers’ system will be key.

With Kyogo Furuhashi, Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda heading off to the Asian Cup in January, the club cannot afford to rest on their laurels.

Offloading some of their fringe players will free up valuable funds and squad space, allowing Rodgers to bring in his desired targets.

Celtic must make the right moves and have a strong winter transfer window. This could be the difference between celebrating another victory lap or facing a season of heartbreak.

Image Source:

Share this article