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Scottish Prem Season Preview

Top flight football in Scotland kicks off its 2022-23 campaign this weekend with four fixtures on Saturday and two on Sunday. Here is our season preview of the Scottish Prem.

By Brian P. Dunleavy

Scottish Premiership 2022-23 Season Preview

Scotland’s Premiership kicks off its 2022-23 campaign this weekend with four fixtures on Saturday and two on Sunday.

Last season’s runners-up, Rangers, overcame Livingston on Saturday, while Celtic, the reigning champions, raise the flag at Celtic Park on Sunday against Aberdeen. In the only other (debatable) headliner, Kilmarnock returned to the top flight with a draw against much-improved Dundee United at Rugby Park on the first day of fixtures.

So, with the first weekend underway, how will the 12 top flight teams fair this season? Herewith, our predictions:


The Hoops surprised many in year one of the Ange Postecoglou era by taking the league title back from Rangers. The Aussie gaffer, an unknown quantity in European footballing circles prior to last season, displayed a knack for finding good players and setting up his teams well. He’ll need to do more of the same to successfully defend last season’s title, and he’s off to a good start so far this summer with the permanent signings of Cameron Carter-Vickers and Jota and the additions of Aaron Mooy, Mortiz Jenz and Alexandro Bernabei. Japanese stars, including Kyogo, Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda are more settled and should only get better.


Conversely, although Ibrox gaffer Giovanni van Bronckhorst has kept most of his key players in the fold, the only notable additions, as of this writing, have been defenders—Ridvan Yilmaz and John Souttar. The Govan side kept it close all season in 2021-22 and made it to the Europa League final, so they’re no slouches. However, they’ll need more to keep pace with Celtic, literally and figuratively.

Dundee United

Many would argue that, after the top two, there isn’t much suspense in the Prem. Tell that to supporters of the other 10 clubs. We expect Dundee United to make significant strides this term, thanks to the arrival of Jack Ross (he’s due for success, no?) and several key signings over the past two windows, including former Celtic forward Tony Watt. Yes, they lost starting ’keeper Ben Siegrist (to Celtic) but unless Ross is out of his depth (again), they should be at the front of the pack of pretenders.


Tynecastle bench boss Robbie Nielson keeps telling us reinforcements are coming but we—and Jambos supporters—are still waiting. As the squad stands currently, Hearts will have a hard time fighting off Motherwell, Ross County and Hibs for fourth place.

Ross County

We billed the Staggies “the Little Club That Could” last term, and we see no reason why they can’t repeat the feat. Yes, they’ve lost goal-scoring machine Regan Charles-Cook, but they have bolstered the core in midfield and the back line that make them difficult to break down.


If at first you don’t succeed… The Easter Road side tried one former Sunderland manager, Jack Ross, and, after a brief dalliance with former Celt Shaun Maloney, they went back that well with Lee Johnson. Will Johnson succeed where Ross failed? Hard to say, but other than goalkeeper David Marshall (also a former Celt) and 36-year-old winger Aiden McGeady (another former Celt, of course) the Hibees return much of the same squad that finished a disappointing eighth place last term, albeit due to lots of injuries.


The Steelmen surprised many with a fifth-place finish in 2021-22, qualifying for Europe. However, that continental campaign—in the Europa Conference League—was over before it started, with the Fir Park side falling to Sligo Rovers. That doesn’t speak well for their hopes of cracking the top six again.


Dons bench boss Jim Goodwin did well at St. Mirren but we wonder if he’s lost the plot since moving to the Granite City, with one of his first acts being the decision to put former Celtic skipper Scott Brown out to pasture. Brown has since retired and Goodwin has earned the ire of Reds supporters by signing another Celtic loanee, Liam Scales. Don’t be surprised if Goodwin becomes the second consecutive Pittodrie manager to not make it through a full season.


If you remember that Livi was in the bottom six before the “split” (when the Prem divides in half to finish out the season schedule) last term but ultimately finished with the fourth-highest point total in the top flight then you know your Scottish football. Livi continue to confound the odds by staying out of the relegation zone. They’ll do it again—barely.

St. Mirren

Stephen Robinson is another manager we’ve been impressed with over the years, though we’re not sure about his work since returning to Scottish football in the dugout in Paisley. St. Mirren do have a rising star in midfielder Dylan Reid, who turned down a move to Celtic this summer to keep playing first-team football.

St. Johnstone

The Perth side went from winning the cup double in 2020-21 to barely surviving a relegation battle last term. With few notable additions to the squad, they’ll be fighting for their lives again and just may lose out this time.


Derek McInnes will attempt to resurrect his managerial career with newly promoted Killie, but with a side made up of young players and older professionals past their primes, it will be a big challenge. Success may mean keeping the Rugby Park side from relegation.

Scottish football may lack the panache of other leagues, but it’s never dull. 2022-23 promises to be yet another interesting campaign. We can’t wait.

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