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The Scottish Premiership 2023-24 Predictions

The 2023-24 Scottish Premiership season starts this weekend, with plenty of questions hanging over the 12 top-flight clubs.

Can Celtic three-peat under prodigal son manager Brendan Rodgers? Will the Green Brigade ever forgive the Irishman for the way he departed the club in 2019?

Will Michael Beale’s Rangers rebuild yield positive results? Is there a club out with Glasgow’s big two that can mount a title challenge?

Our predictions for the league campaign, from bottom to top, follow—and they will explore these and other questions. Here’s how we see the league in 2023-24:

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The Full Scottish Premiership Prediction Table

12. St. Johnstone

The Perth side’s domestic cup double, in 2021, seems a lifetime ago, and the manager of that side, Callum Davidson, has gone from a rising star in the British game to unemployed. Can his permanent successor, Steven MacLean, turn things around? Even with all the tumult, the Saints still finished ninth last term. However, we don’t see them duplicating that finish, particularly after making no notable additions to the squad.

11. Dundee

Tony Docherty takes over at Dens Park after a long career as an assistant in Scottish football. If he hopes to keep his side up in the Prem after this season, he faces a tough challenge. He’s pieced together a decent squad with loanees and a varied assortment of Scottish football veterans, but the Dee will likely find themselves in the pro/rel play-off at the end.

10. Kilmarnock

Derek McInnes has made several additions to a Killie side that finished 10th in 2022-23, but we’re not convinced that will be enough to see them improve significantly. Still, the Rugby Park side now has an interesting mixture of older players and youngsters on loan that could surprise us in the end.

9. Livingston

Livi bench boss David Martindale makes lemonade from lemons, and he makes sure everyone knows about it. However, he’s entitled to brag: His side are always tough to play against, particularly at home, on the plastic pitch. They’ll be even more so if captain and defender Mikey Devlin can have an injury-free season.

8. Ross County

We have a soft spot for the Staggies, despite gaffer Malky Mackay. To be fair, though, the former Celt and Norwich City stalwart has resurrected his managerial career, and personal reputation, in the Highlands and has been able to attract decent players to Dingwall. We expect to see a significant improvement from a side that finished 11th last term.

7. Motherwell

The Steelmen will be hard-pressed to improve on last season’s performance, even with much of that squad still in place. Stuart Kettlewell has done an admirable job at Fir Park, but a top-six finish seems unlikely, unless…

7. Hibernian

Hibs fall out of the top six?! From our vantage point, we’ve seen a lot of quality leaving Easter Road, without much coming the other way. And no, we don’t put much faith in bench boss Lee Johnson. The Hibees will need players such as Martin Boyle, Paul Hanlon and Ewan Henderson to stay healthy—and even then…

5. Hearts

Yes, we see the two Edinburgh sides fighting it out to remain in the top six. Really, we think the Jambos will struggle under novice manager Steven Naismith. A fierce competitor as a player, Naismith should be given time to settle into the role. If he gets that time, he has the makings of a good manager. Just not right away.

4. St. Mirren

Can Stephen Robinson improve on last season’s surprise top six finish in Paisley? In short, yes. The core of that squad remains, and appears unfazed by boardroom instability, at least based on their showing during the early stages of League Cup play.

3. Aberdeen

Barry Robson righted the ship in the Granite City last term and has brought in an interesting mix of players for the coming campaign. Will it be enough to split the Glasgow giants? No, but a third-place finish sure seems a safe bet for the Dons, particularly with stalwarts Graeme Shinnie and Jonny Hayes still around.

2. Rangers

Manager Michael Beale promised to rework a squad that seemed unable to cope with pressure at times last season and boy has he done so. Among the bevy of new signings: midfielder Kieran Dowell (ex-Norwich City), fullback Dujon Sterling (ex-Chelsea), goalkeeper Jack Butland (ex-Crystal Palace) and forwards Sam Lammers and Cyriel Dessers.

However, none of those players have played in an environment like Glasgow, where you are expected to win every week. If they prove capable of handling that pressure, then ’Gers can challenge for the title.

1. Celtic

Recreating the free-flowing football that was the hallmark of departed bench boss Ange Postecoglou will be no easy task, but if there’s a man who can do it, it’s Rodgers. The Irishman knows the landscape in Parkhead and understands the expectations. And, he immediately gets the respect of the players, many of whom were signed by his predecessor, based on his resume alone.

Yes, it will take time for Rodgers to win over segments of the Hoops support. Still, with an already strong squad boosted with new signings, we expect the roll to continue toward three in a row.



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