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

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

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."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

I

thought exactly this when the Match of the Day pundits were peddling this line. Is it really not okay for fans of a club to have some ambition these days then?

damoceltic
Bored Of Big Sam? It's Your Right...

H

ow magnanimous off him - to leave if he's asked to by the owners? What's the alternative, bunker down in his office claiming squatter's rights if FSG want rid?

feed the bear
Rodgers: I'll go if owners want

Footer 365

FA chairman Greg Dyke says Sepp Blatter "has to go".

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke insists that "Sepp Blatter has to go as FIFA president".

Jack Warner has been arrested and bailed in Trinidad

Jack Warner has been arrested and will be released on bail in Trinidad and Tobago as part of the FIFA investigation.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter welcomes US investigations

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has issued a statement welcoming investigations by US and Swiss authorities

Mail Box

Vidic Is Part Of United's 'Budget XI'

We have post-2000 budget XIs on behalf of Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs. Plus gaelic football, FIFA, more awards and the majesty of Il Fenomeno...

Europa League: Hardly The AIA Cup

A Spurs fan definitely isn't bothered his side aren't in the Europa League final tonight. Also, a warning about Michael Laudrup, and how to build a team with less than £20m.

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company