IF RANGERS win their next four games they will be champions before the SPL split – but they could secure the title even earlier if Celtic drop points in their forthcoming matches.
Celtic's current maximum possible points tally is 81, and Rangers need 12 points to get to 82. If they win tomorrow and on Saturday, Walter Smith's side will be halfway to that goal before Celtic visit Hibs on Sunday. Should Celtic lose at Easter Road, Rangers can become champions by beating Aberdeen.
If Celtic beat Hibs then lose to Motherwell, or drop points in both games, Rangers will become champions when the full-time whistle blows in the latter match – provided, of course, they have won their own games. Only if Celtic win their next two matches and Rangers fail to win their next four will the race go on beyond the split.
The biggest winning points margin in the history of the SPL was enjoyed by Rangers in 1999/00, when they finished 21 points clear of Celtic.
It's been a different story in recent seasons, though, with the closest in a series of close-run affairs coming in 2002/03. Then Rangers and Celtic went into the final day level on points, but a 6-1 victory for the Ibrox side against Dunfermline nudged them ahead on goal difference after the Parkhead team beat Kilmarnock 4-0.
REMAINING FIXTURES FOR OLD FIRM BEFORE THE SPLIT
Tomorrow: St Johnstone v Rangers
April 3: Rangers v Hamilton
April 4: Hibs v Celtic
April 7: Rangers v Aberdeen
April 13: Celtic v Motherwell
April 14: Dundee Utd v Rangers