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Scottish Premiership: Improving Rangers in title race with Celtic, says Chris Sutton

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Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton believes Rangers are building momentum under Philippe Clement and are in a title race against their Old Firm rivals.

The Ibrox side won 1-0 at Hearts to extend their unbeaten run under the Belgian to 11 games across all competitions, picking up 19 points from a possible 21 in the league.

Celtic, meanwhile, have picked up 17 points in the same period but remain eight clear of Rangers – albeit having played a game more – ahead of the December 30th meeting between the clubs in Glasgow’s East End, live on Sky Sports.

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Highlights from the Scottish Premiership match between Hearts and Rangers.

“This period of games, they come thick and fast until the break,” said Sutton. “It is a really important period.

“Celtic haven’t been at their very best, Rangers need to make sure they don’t drop silly points – which they did at Aberdeen.

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Watch highlights of the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Hibernian.

“I do think there is a title race on this season, I do. They’ve got the European fixture coming up but a big three points for Philippe Clement.

“I don’t like it because Rangers have got a manager now who just seems to talk common sense!

“They are heading in the right direction and building momentum under him.”

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Mark Wilson assesses how Rangers have improved under Philippe Clement after victory over Hearts

Speaking on Sky Sports News, former Celtic defender Mark Wilson added: “When you look at Philippe Clement’s 11 games in charge, Rangers are definitely harder to play against. They’ve only conceded five goals in that period – they score more too. It is going well at both ends.

“Clement has made a difference from what Michael Beale left behind. When you look at the month of December, Rangers have got six games to squeeze in before they meet Celtic on the 30th. Some huge games.

“Rangers have to be in touch with Celtic come that game in late December.”

‘Aberdeen form not good enough’

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Aberdeen must beat Hearts ahead of their League Cup final against Rangers to ease the pressure on boss Barry Robson, says Mark Wilson

At the other end of the table, Aberdeen’s defeat at Kilmarnock saw Barry Robson’s side drop into the relegation play-off spot after a third league loss in four games.

The Dons have won just three games from 14 in the Scottish Premiership – leaving last season’s third-placed side now just three points off bottom spot.

Robson admits ‘there’s no excuse’ and added his side ‘need to start picking up points’, with their next game at home to Hearts on Saturday.

Wilson – who was team-mates with Robson at Celtic – told Sky Sports News: “To be sitting second bottom of the table in this period, just before Christmas, isn’t good enough.

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Highlights from the Scottish Premiership match between Aberdeen and Kilmarnock.

“There’s stress on Barry Robson’s shoulders, but he’s got a cup final around the corner. Balancing European football with league football has been a bit of a stretch for this side.

“The calendar has been jam-packed and the Aberdeen squad haven’t dealt with that particularly well. They need three points at the weekend to alleviate some of the pressure. That cup final against Rangers next week is crucial too.”

Scottish Premiership and SWPL on Sky Sports

SPFL ball for 2023/24 season

Sky Sports – This season up to 48 cinch Premiership games will be available across Sky Sports’ flagship channels, including Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event, plus at least five SWPL matches. From 2024/25, up to 60 cinch Premiership will be live on Sky Sports, in addition to the SWPL.

Sky Sports News – Running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Scottish football fans can enjoy Sky Sports News’ (channel 409) rolling editorial coverage of the cinch Premiership and SWPL throughout the season.

Sky Sports Digital – Follow all the latest from Scottish football across SkySports.com and app, including exclusive features and interviews, plus dedicated live blog coverage, in-game clips from matches live on Sky Sports and free highlights.

Sky Sports Social – Alongside coverage and visibility for the league across all Sky Sports’ main social media channels, the bespoke X page @ScotlandSky (formerly known as Twitter) will continue to be the home of all Scottish football content on Sky Sports.

Highlights show – Tune in for a dedicated round-up from the cinch Premiership every week on Sky Sports Football.

To download the Sky Sports app click here, to visit Sky Sports website click here.

Sky Sports is the home of domestic football in the UK and Ireland, with action from the Scottish Premiership, Scottish Women’s Premier League, Premier League, WSL, EFL, and more.

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