Rangers installed as new title favourites - why Celtic are now outsiders to retain Scottish Premiership crown

Todd Cantwell (left) celebrates with John Souttar after scoring for Rangers in the 2-1 win over Aberdeen that has taken them level with Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)Todd Cantwell (left) celebrates with John Souttar after scoring for Rangers in the 2-1 win over Aberdeen that has taken them level with Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Todd Cantwell (left) celebrates with John Souttar after scoring for Rangers in the 2-1 win over Aberdeen that has taken them level with Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Bookies odds shift in favour of Ibrox side after crucial win over Aberdeen

Rangers are favourites to win the Scottish Premiership title for the first time this season after closing the eight-point gap to Celtic.

The 2-1 victory over Aberdeen at Ibrox on Tuesday night has left both sides locked level on 58 points at the top of the table, with Celtic holding onto the lead by a slender one-goal margin courtesy of a +39 goal difference with 55 goals scored and 16 conceded while Rangers are on +38 with 50 goals scored and 12 conceded.

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Celtic were eight points clear going into the winter break just five weeks ago after defeating Rangers 2-1 at Parkhead on December 30 but last weekend’s draw at Aberdeen – coupled with Rangers winning their games in hand – has brought the Glasgow rivals back to level-pegging after 24 matches played.

Rangers have dropped just five points in the league since the arrival of Philippe Clement in October – the defeat at Celtic Park coming after a 1-1 draw at Pittodrie – while Celtic have shipped 12 points over the same period of time.

While Celtic retain the narrow advantage, bookmakers William Hill have installed Rangers as the narrow 4/5 frontrunners – the first time they have been ahead in the betting market all season having been priced at 3/1 at the start of the campaign – while Celtic remain odds on at 10/11 to win a third successive crown and 12th in 13 seasons.

Celtic have the chance to go three points clear when they face Hibs at Easter Road on Wednesday night, but Rangers will play their game in hand against Ross County at Ibrox next Wednesday in a fixture rearranged from the December 27 postponement.

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