Next Game

Dundee v Celtic

Sunday, 31 August 2014, 12:30

Scots Prem

Celtic Park

Last Game

Celtic 0 - 1 Maribor

Tuesday, 26 August 2014, 19:45

Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs Round

Coyle: Celtic will pull clear

Owen Coyle expects Celtic to stride clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League when their Champions League group campaign ends.

Last Updated: 30/11/12 at 08:58 Post Comment

Owen Coyle: Expects Celtic to pull clear at the top

Owen Coyle: Expects Celtic to pull clear at the top

Celtic moved a point ahead on Wednesday night with a 4-0 victory over Hearts at Tynecastle, but they have only taken one point from a possible nine at Parkhead.

Neil Lennon's team have dropped points after five of their 10 European games this season and will be involved in Europe after Christmas after some impressive Champions League wins, including their shock triumph over Barcelona.

They will qualify for the last 16 against Spartak Moscow on Tuesday if they better Benfica's result against Barcelona, and Coyle feels they will consolidate their position as SPL leaders when the European campaign breaks off for a couple of months.

With Rangers exiting the top flight this summer, the challenge to Celtic has been spread out with just three points separating the five teams below Lennon's men.

Former Bolton manager Coyle, who rejected the chance to manage Celtic in 2009, said: "It's looking very competitive. You have to balance that and recognise the biggest single player in that would be the distraction Celtic have in the CL. There is no getting away from that.

"I would expect in the coming weeks when the Spartak game is taken care of by Celtic, then for those couple of months before it comes around again I think we will see Celtic opening a gap up in the league.

"But it has brought a real competitive edge. I think we all accept Celtic will win the league but there are now six, seven or eight teams that feel they can finish second."

Coyle also expects Celtic, who host Arbroath in the William Hill Scottish Cup on Saturday, to finish the job against the Russians.

"I've been to Celtic's last three Champions League games and they have been outstanding performances," the former Dundee United and Motherwell striker said. "They are well set now to go, as we all hope and expect them to do, to beat Spartak and qualify for the last 16.

"That gives Scottish football a tremendous boost."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

Footer 365

Transfer news: Nikola Zigic's agent confirms Arsenal's interest

The agent of ex-Birmingham striker Nikola Zigic has told SPORT that Arsenal have expressed an interest in his client.

Premier League: Crystal Palace unveil Neil Warnock as new manager

Neil Warnock has returned to Crystal Palace after being named as the new manager on a two-year deal.

Manchester United signing Angel di Maria claims he was forced out of Real Madrid

Manchester United signing Angel di Maria has claimed he never wanted to leave Real Madrid.

Mail Box

Should Kagawa Play Ahead Of Mata?

That's one question posed in the afternoon mailbox, although it looks like the Japanese playmaker could soon be on his way. Plus, tipping Palace to go down under Warnock...

Well, This Isn't Going That Well Is It?

Plenty of fall out from Manchester United's shambolic 4-0 League Cup defeat, plus thoughts on Van Persie, Arsenal strikers, Benik Afobe, Celtic and Astroturf...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property