Dundee United not just also-rans in quest to strip Celtic of the title

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Top of the Scottish Premiership, and looking like staying there for the time being; no we are not talking about Celtic, but Dundee United. And with the form they are in, it could be a while before they’re brought down.

With 16 points from their opening seven games, the Terrors have looked strong for much of the season to date.

The solitary blot on their form this campaign was a 6-1 hammering at the hands of the Bhoys back in August.

But boss Jackie McNamara has actually singled out that match as one that kicked started what could be a very successful 2014/15.

“To be honest, I think the setback of the Celtic game and the manner we lost that, had that not happened it might be different”, the former Scotland international said.

And following an emphatic 4-1 derby day victory over Dundee, the Tannadice club look well placed to top the pile in the ‘Without Celtic’ market, priced at 7/4 with Ladbrokes.

But with the Hoops suffering a disjointed start to the season themselves, could the unthinkable happen and someone other than the Glasgow side lift the trophy in May?

It may sound ridiculous, but there are far worse 25/1 shots about than Dundee United claiming their first title in 32 years.

Celtic sit fourth in the table, with three wins from their six matches, very poor by their standards, and have already been knocked out of the Champions League, twice.

Boss Ronny Deila has come into criticism with some areas of the Celtic Park faithful, with calls for his sacking and talks of potential replacements frequenting a number of green and white internet message boards.

The Norwegian manager himself has admitted that his side are lacking somewhat in all areas, and following their reliance on a late penalty to grab a point against Motherwell said; “You can’t rely on one or two players. We need to get the whole squad up to the right level”.

And with Leigh Griffiths on the verge of a loan move back to Hibs and African Nations selection in the pipeline for both Efe Ambrose and Wakaso Mubarak, more headaches could come the way of the former Stromsgodset gaffer.

Dundee United on the other hand have looked composed, balanced, and more importantly consistent especially when it comes to scoring goals.

Five different players have netted two or more goals in the Scottish Premiership to date this season, for a side that looks a very intriguing contender for European qualification and maybe even more.

Could this be the year of change north of the border?

All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.