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‘UNSTOPPABLE CELTIC,’ BONNER

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CELTIC legend Pat Bonner reckons his old club with be runaway SPFL champions for the fifth successive season.

The former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper, who made 641 appearances for the Glasgow giants over a 20-year period, revealed he cannot see ANY team testing Ronny Deila’s side.
Aberdeen pushed them closer than many expected last term, but they failed to pick up a point against Celtic in their four league encounters and had to settle for second spot.Asked if he is worried about another potential Dons challenge, Bonner said: “No, I absolutely think that Celtic are hot favourites.

“It looks like Aberdeen is the only challenge, but they have to beat Celtic this year, because they lost the four games against them last season, if they are going to put up that challenge.

 “I’m looking forward to seeing Hearts coming up. Will they get into the top six? I think they should consolidate; that should be their first objective when they come up from a new division – to stay in that division first and foremost.

“We saw Inverness Caley Thistle and we enjoy the way that they play football under John Hughes, but could they challenge Celtic? I’m not so sure.”

Bonner also believes the depth of Deila’s squad will be vital, especially in Europe.

 Dedryck Boyata’s goal gave the Hoops a 1-0 lead going into the second leg of their Champions League third-round qualifier against Qarabag on Wednesday and Bonner pointed to the substitutions made by the manager as an example of their strength in depth.

He said: “The one you don’t want to be in is the Europa League, with big long travels and having to come back on the Thursday and then play the weekend and we’ve seen the history of that.

 “That can affect teams. I’m sure Aberdeen would love to see Celtic in it on a Thursday night, but Celtic want to be there in the Champions League.
“That’s their big prize, they want to be in the group stage and they have a big enough squad to challenge anybody in Scotland.“We saw it against Qarabag where they brought on Kris Commons, Leigh Griffiths and James Forrest, so they have got the squad to handle it all.”

 Lisbon Lion John Clark will unfurl Celtic’s latest league flag against Ross County at Parkhead on Saturday afternoon when the SPFL kicks off for the new term.
 
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