New Celtic boss Ronny Deila may only have securing Champions League qualification on his mind at present but the Norwegian will be all too aware of the pressure to impress domestically too.
The Hoops are chasing a fourth successive Scottish Premiership crown and in the absence of Rangers have been utterly dominant north of the border.
But will it be their arch-rivals who go on to finish the 2014-15 season undefeated?
Competition, what competition?
Celtic have romped to consecutive Scottish Premiership titles by 29, 16 and 20 points respectively over the last three years.
The dearth of competition in their domestic league is all too apparent and without sparring partners Rangers to challenge there is no threat to the Celts’ dominance.
This is further highlighted by Fraser Forster’s record-breaking run of 1,256 minutes without conceding a goal last season and the fact that Celtic lost only a solitary Scottish Premiership game in their previous campaign.
New boss, new challenge
By their own admission, the former managerial team of Neil Lennon and Johan Mjallby felt their Celtic tenure had become stale prior to their departure in the summer.
On the other hand, Ronny Deila arrives in Glasgow with a fresh approach and the desire to prove himself in Scotland.
The Norwegian boss has a track record of unearthing and nurturing talent which makes him a perfect fit for Celtic’s ambitions.
If he can inspire his new charges to play the high-tempo and attacking football he’s known for, and combine that with a renewed drive, the Hoops could rise to the challenge of going a whole season unbeaten.
One more season to rub salt into rivals’ wounds?
With Rangers widely expected to secure a return to the top-flight this term, the incentive for Celtic to rubber-stamp their authority is clear.
The return of the Gers would undoubtedly up the ante in Scottish football.
But in the meantime Celtic have the perfect opportunity to remind Ally McCoist’s men of the stiff challenge that would await them.
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