CELTIC are two wins away from just about wrapping up the title for a third successive year.

That’s the verdict of former Hoops goal hero Chris Sutton, but he has warned Brendan Rodgers’ back lot to buck up their ideas when it comes to protecting their net.

Joe Hart was exposed three times against Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden a week ago when the men in front of him failed to react to the danger posed by the Pittodrie outfit.

It was a similar situation to what the retiring netminder had to face at Ibrox a fortnight earlier when the visitors blew a two-goal interval advantage to surrender two points when Rabbi Matondo was allowed time and space to whip in a stoppage-time equaliser.

RED ALERT…Joe Hart is left-on-one against Aberdeen forward Junior Hoilett in the 3-3 draw at Hampden last weekend.

Rodgers’ men are three points ahead with five hurdles to clear, kicking off with the 3pm encounter against Dundee at Dens Park tomorrow which will be played in the aftermath of Rangers’ 12.30pm start against St Mirren in Paisley.

Reflecting on his old club’s fragility at the back, Sutton said: “Anyone who thinks this title race is over is kidding themselves on.

“The Aberdeen game showed there is still a vulnerability about Celtic at the back, particularly from cross balls – which has been a bit of an Achilles Heel from even before Rodgers returned.

“I’ve read all week players saying Hampden was a warning. But they have had plenty of warnings this season and the penny hasn’t really dropped.

“The next two games against Dundee and Hearts are the be all and end all.

“If Celtic win the pair of them, they could all but clinch the league against Rangers at Celtic Park.

“Sunday is enormous. You have Rangers with the pressure of facing a St Mirren side who have been impressive this season and knowing they cannot afford any more slip-ups.

TWO-MINUTE WARNING…Bojan Miovski races away after netting Aberdeen’s early opener with Joe Hart left helpless. Team-mates Alistair Johnston, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Callum McGregor wonder what just hit them.

“Then it’s over to Celtic to see how they cope at Dundee, who performed so well against Rangers and can play with a freedom having made the top-six spot theirs.”

Sutton, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “Anything could happen because you can’t be certain what either side will do this year. Rangers are back to being world-beaters again after their Scottish Cup win against Hearts.

“They even managed to progress despite Fabio Silva being denied a stonewall penalty for his tumble in the box.

“But it was a big win for them under the circumstances, on the back of two desperate performances against Ross County and Dundee that handed the advantage in the league back to Celtic.

“In the first few months under Philippe Clement, it was all about energy and intensity. But there have been signs of them running out of steam a little bit in recent weeks and the chopping and changing that helped them earlier in the campaign seems to be hurting their rhythm.

“At the same time, Celtic have struggled for consistency all term. And they have rarely put together complete performances for the full 90 minutes.”

TOP MAN…Matt O’Riley celebrates his goal against Aberdeen that put the holders 3-2 ahead in extra-time. Celtic still had to rely on penalty-kicks to reach the Scottish Cup Final.

The one-time England international striker added: “The Player of the Year awards are not really a fair barometer, but the fact there’s not a host of Celtic players in the running for the main gongs this time shows that not enough of them have performed week in, week out.

“Last season, they had Kyogo, Reo Hatate, Callum McGregor, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Jota, Matt O’Riley and Liel Abada all in the frame for individual awards.

“This time? O’Riley seems to be the only one being spoken about and that is pretty telling.

“It’s all about the next five games. Celtic’s key men will need to step up and produce the goods to claim the prizes that really matter.”

After tomorrow’s confrontation at Dens Park, the champions take on Hearts at Parkhead a week today and seven days later they host Philippe Clement’s ibrox outfit.

On Wednesday May 15, Rodgers takes his players to Rugby Park, a venue where they have already lost twice this season.

Then all eyes will be on the visit of St Mirren to Paradise three days later when the hosts will be hoping to parade the gleaming Premiership silverware for the third year on the bounce and their twelfth crown in 13 years.

For the time being, though, it’s all about tomorrow as another chapter is about to be written in a rollercoaster crusade.

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