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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Overview
We now halfway through the season ahving played 19 of the 38 games. The title race is tighter than I think most people would have expected by this point and all looks good for a real fight to the finish. It proves at this point there is very little between the Old Firm and with both clubs now out of Europe both will be looking to drop as little as possible between now and the season end. That won't be easy because the rest of the SPL clubs are not making life any easier for the Old Firm this year. Six of the other ten clubs have taken points from the Old Firm collectively already which is very unusual with Aberdeen being the only side to take points from both.

The two Old Firm games so far this season have cancelled each other out with a win for each. Alot may be decided in the remaining two games. The first will be at Celtic Park with the one at Ibrox to follow after the league split. The Split itself could have a big part to play too and will certainly go in Rangers favour if things continue the way they are going at present.

If the top 6 are to be Rangers, Celtic, Aberdeen, Hibs, Hearts and Motherwell as looks to be the case with 14 matches till the split then Celtic will have to play 3 away games and 2 home games. Their 3 away games will be to Rangers, Aberdeen and Hearts. Rangers would have to play Motherwell and Hibs away. If it is tight before the split then the Old Firm game at Ibrox could be the clincher for either side.

League

Code:
                    P W  D  L  F   A   GD   PTS  
[color=green]1    Celtic        19 15 2  2  45  18  +27   47[/color] 
[color=blue]2    Rangers       19 14 4  1  38  8   +30   46[/color]
Where it was won and lost

Although both halves of the Old Firm have played a combined 38 matches only 9 matches so far have shaped the top of the SPL. It's been a bit of a rollercoaster so far and I don't see that changing till the end of the season. These were the games that shaped the league:

07/08/04 Aberdeen 0-0 Rangers (Celtic +2 Points)
29/08/04 Celtic1-0 Rangers (Celtic +5 Points)
12/09/04 Hearts 0-0 Rangers (Celtic +7 Points)
19/09/04 Hibs 2-2 Celtic (Celtic +5 Points)
24/10/04 Rangers1-1 Dundee United (Celtic +7 Points)
27/10/04 Celtic2-3 Aberdeen (Celtic +4 Points)
20/11/04 Rangers2-0 Celtic (Celtic +1 Points)
28/11/04 Dundee 2-2 Celtic (Rangers +1 Point)
05/11/04 Inverness 1-1 Rangers (Celtic +1 Point)

After the first month and a half of the season Celtic looked to be running away with it. It was in this period that Rangers went out of the Champions League too beaten by CSKA Moscow. It all looked dire for the Gers but slowly they have pulled themselves back into the running.

Next month and a half

Just as the first month and a half of the season had a big impact on the league next 6 weeks will have an equal impact ahead of the Old Firm SPL match at Celtic Park. After that match the teams will each have played 26 games with 12 to follow. In between though there is an interesting fixture list and also an Old Firm Scottish Cup tie.

I personally think it is in this period that Rangers must get back on top of the league. It's not in their own hands but Celtic have 2 hard away ties and Rangers only have the one- although nothing is taken for granted. Also Rangers play twice as many home games before the game at Celtic Park, playing 4 to Celtic's two.

Week 20 Hearts v Celtic
Week 20 Rangers v Motherwell

Week 21 Celtic v Livingston
Week 21 Dundee Utd v Rangers

Week 22 Aberdeen v Celtic
Week 22 Rangers v Dunfermline

09 January 2005 Celtic v Rangers

Week 23 Celtic v Motherwell
Week 23 Aberdeen v Rangers

Week 24 Rangers v Livingston
Week 24 Kilmarnock v Celtic

Week 25 Rangers v Hibernian
Week 25 Inverness CT v Celtic

Week 26 Celtic v Rangers (19 February 2005)

I think afer the matches on week 22 have been played we have a good chance of being on top of the league. It will all depend on how Celtic cope with those matches but I'd expect them to be tight.

We then have a tough two matches. The game away to Celtic in the Scottish Cup will be our biggest since the Auxerre game. After that we have to travel up to Pittodrie where it won't be easy to get 3 points.

Rangers then have 2 home games while Celtic travel away twice. I'd expect both teams to pick up full points from those games so there should be no change at the top. It will be interesting to see who is on top of the league going into that game at Celtic Park on 19 February and more importantly who will be on top after it. It is imperative for Celtic that it is them.
 

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One match at a time chivo ;)

A lot will depend on the transfer activity of both clubs in January. If one team is to strengthen more than the other it could prove vital. As it is, we're both pretty closely matched. I have to say, though, that i'm still pretty pessimistic at this stage.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I still think it will be pretty tight by the time we visit Celtic Park in February. We've got an easier run of games so we have to do our bit which would keep us a point behind if Celtic win all their games too.

The Scottish Cup game could have an effect on the games in between too. I'm sure Celtic will be glad to have the Hearts and Aberdeen games out of the way when they come to that game.
 
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