IT may sound a bit like stating the obvious, but Celtic will win the Premiership this season.

A few people have gotten a bit too excited over the possibility of a title race in the last few days but, for me, it is not going to happen.

Listen, I would love Rangers to make a late charge and lift the title come May but I just can’t see it happening unfortunately.

Celtic are nine points clear and that is a great position to be in at this stage of the campaign.

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There have been a lot of ifs, buts and maybes put forward since Rangers beat Hamilton and Celtic drew with St Johnstone at the weekend.

The scenario people have talked about is Rangers beating Hearts on Saturday, Aberdeen taking something from Celtic on Sunday and then Graeme Murty’s side winning the Old Firm game next month.

That is the way that people have looked at it and there has been talk that we could have a title race on our hands in the closing weeks of the season.

But there is only one team that has shown any kind of consistency that you need from a league winning side and that is Celtic.

They have got the most money and the best squad in Scotland. Whether they make seven changes or not, they have still got a side that should beat the opposition.

It was always going to be impossible for Brendan Rodgers and his players to repeat what they did last season but they still have the strongest group and were automatically huge favourites for every competition this year.

For the first time in a while, there are questions being asked about Celtic and over the next three weeks will know if they are going to be challenged to the wire this term.

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But, when the chips are down, Celtic have shown that they can win games. That is the challenge that faces Rangers now.

You have to give Rangers, Aberdeen and Hibernian credit for making sure that the gap isn’t as big as it was last year but, remember, Celtic are still nine points clear. And everyone would love to be in their position.

It is not done and dusted but Celtic are massive favourites and I still think they will go on and win the championship again.

The problem for Rangers this season has been the home form. If we had won the games we should have at Ibrox, then maybe we would have had a title race.

The number of points that we have dropped at Ibrox is ridiculous and the one that stands out for me is the Kilmarnock game.

We were 1-0 up with seconds to go and had a penalty. And we ended up drawing 1-1 and dropping another two points. It is absolutely crazy.

You can always look back over the course of a campaign and say ‘if only we hadn’t lost there’ or ‘if only we had got a draw there’. It is all ifs, buts and maybes.

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Rangers can certainly say that quite a lot, but then so can Celtic and so can Aberdeen and Hibernian. The truth is, Rangers haven’t won the games they should have done and that has cost them.

It is fine saying that we should have done this or that, but we haven’t. We haven’t shown the form of title challengers over the course of the season.

For Graeme, the task now is to get as close to Celtic as possible over the final few weeks and give us something to build on going into the summer.

The gap won’t be the huge 39 points it was last season and that is a positive for Rangers. That is progress.

We have to put a marker down going forward and the players that were brought in during January have certainly made the squad better.

The big tests for this group will come over the next few weeks when they play the likes of Hearts and Celtic, when they have big Scottish Cup ties and the post-split fixtures.

These are the games when you have to produce and time will tell if Rangers can put together a run of form to ensure they close the gap to Celtic and pull away from Aberdeen and Hibs.

Even if we do that, you just can’t see Celtic losing three or four times and dropping the number of points they have to for it really to be a title race.

In football, anything can happen. But I just don’t see anyone other than Celtic lifting the Premiership silverware this season.

The big question is who is going to finish second and that is important for Rangers in terms of them being seen to be getting closer and, don’t forget, they still have the Scottish Cup to play for as well.

Trophies is why you sign for the club and we have seen the players talking about the chance to get a winner’s medal. Well, this is an opportunity for them.

They are not going to win the Premiership this year, but they can win the Scottish Cup and if we can do that and finish strongly in the league then that will certainly be a positive way to end the campaign at Ibrox.