Friday, December 16, 2011

Motherwell the best of the rest

There is almost a competition within a competition in the SPL. The other ten clubs have accepted they won’t be able to catch Rangers or Celtic unless something drastic changes, so they compete in their own mini-league.

Since its inception in 1998, the SPL has been won by just two clubs. Only once has a side disrupted the Old Firm dominance during that period – Hearts finished second behind Celtic in 2005-06.

Taking all that into account, the highest a club outside of the Old Firm can expect to finish in the table is third. With third spot comes a place in the Europa Cup. During difficult financial times, that extra revenue would come as welcome relief for SPL clubs. Anyone following the best Scottish Premier League betting online should remember this.

Motherwell are the team in pole position going into the festive period. They sit seven points clear of St Johnstone in third, with a game in hand. They will be delighted with their start to the season after a disappointing 2010-11 campaign where they failed to qualify for Europe for the first time in four years. Ambitious Motherwell boss Stuart McCall will be confident of securing a European place this season.

Can anybody catch Motherwell? St Johnstone are the closest challengers but lost 3-0 at home to Motherwell last time out and don’t look like threatening. Likewise, Hearts and Kilmarnock are struggling to make any real impression this season.

It would seem third place is Motherwell’s to lose. With no real threat coming from behind them, perhaps they should concentrate on breaking into the top two. If they win their game in hand, they would find themselves five points behind Celtic. A lofty ambition, but that is what McCall will be striving for.

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