Celtic's Odsonne Edouard good enough to play in any league in the world, says Kris Boyd

Kris Boyd previews Celtic and Rangers' midweek fixtures and Hamilton vs Aberdeen, live on Sky Sports

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes leads training in Dubai 3:58
Former Rangers striker Kris Boyd previews another round of midweek fixtures in the Scottish Premiership

Sky Sports pundit Kris Boyd believes Odsonne Edouard is good enough to play in any league in the world and says it is vital he stays fit if Celtic are to continue in their rich vein of form.

Neil Lennon's side have won all seven games since returning from the winter break following their 2-1 defeat to Rangers in December and the French striker has been vital to that run, scoring seven times in the process.

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Celtic host Hearts on Wednesday as part of another full midweek fixture card in the Scottish Premiership as they look to maintain their advantage over Rangers at the top of the table, with Steven Gerrard's side having to navigate a tricky trip to an improving Kilmarnock.

Motherwell 0-4 Celtic 5:14
Highlights from Celtic's 4-0 Scottish Premiership win at Motherwell on February 5

Ahead of those fixtures, Boyd says keeping Edouard fit is paramount for Celtic, while he believes Ianis Hagi can provide the creative difference for Rangers. He feels more Aberdeen players must chip in with goals as Derek McInnes' side will look to return to winning, and scoring, ways in their visit to Hamilton, live on Sky Sports on Tuesday.

'Edouard can play in any league in the world'

"Odsonne Edouard is an unbelievable talent, he's shown that especially over the last couple of months. Will he be up there for player of the year? Yes, there is no doubt about that. A lot has been made about the form of Leigh Griffiths as well but I think a lot of it is down to Odsonne Edouard because he can play with anybody. He can play in any league in the world as well.

Leigh Griffiths celebrates with Celtic team-mates after scoring against Motherwell 0:24
Andy Walker has been impressed with the quality of Celtic's play and the fitness levels the players are showing

"I would not be surprised if Celtic have to fight off big bids for him come the summer because he is a top player and if Celtic are going to keep performing the way they have been, then it is crucial that he stays fit.

"Hearts picked up that result against Rangers. They totally dominated that game, then go and draw against St Johnstone and lose to Kilmarnock.

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Daniel Stendel secured his first league win with Hearts at the seventh attempt
Image: Daniel Stendel's Hearts travel to Celtic on Wednesday

"The way Hearts are playing, you can't quite work them out because one minute they are all action, in your face and stop you playing, but the results don't really seem to be improving either."

'Rangers can't afford any more slip-ups'

Two of Boyd's former clubs meet on Wednesday as Rangers look to continue in their recovery from a poor start to 2020 which has seen them fall seven points behind Celtic, albeit with a game in hand.

Ianis Hagi celebrates his first goal for Rangers as Hibernian were beaten
Image: Ianis Hagi celebrates his first goal for Rangers as Hibernian were beaten

They travel to Ayrshire to face Kilmarnock and Boyd believes January recruit Ianis Hagi could be key for Rangers going forward.

"Hagi has been bright, he got his goal against Hibs as well. He is maybe something Rangers were lacking in terms of that little bit of creativity - he is different to the rest.

"People speak about the physicality of the game here but he will adapt, he will find ways around that as well - he is definitely good with the ball at his feet, can drive at people and he has got an eye for goal as well so it could be a shrewd bit of business for Rangers.

Rangers 2-1 Hibs 2:20
Highlights from the Scottish Premiership as Rangers beat Hibernian 2-1 at Ibrox on February 5

"Rangers can't afford any more slip-ups, especially at Kilmarnock on Wednesday night. It will be a difficult game, Kilmarnock have turned the corner a little bit under Alex Dyer - their last two league performances were good, with six points from those games.

"There has been a bit of a resurgence from Kilmarnock but it will be a difficult game for Rangers. It always is at Rugby Park."

'Aberdeen always find a way back'

Aberdeen have scored just once in six games since their return from the winter break, in a 1-0 Scottish Cup win over League One Dumbarton. Boyd says manager Derek McInnes deserves the chance to rectify that form and says they can still secure third spot in the Premiership.

Aberdeen’s Sam Cosgrove walks off dejected at full time during the Premiership match against St Mirren
Image: Aberdeen have scored once in six matches

"Aberdeen have been reliant on Sam Cosgrove - his form has maybe taken a little bit of a dip. Derek is right, everybody needs to shoulder responsibility and stand up and be counted for. You can't rely on one player to score you goals all the time, there are other players in there who need to do more.

"Every manager is under pressure but what I will say is Derek has shown loyalty to Aberdeen over the years and if you look back at Aberdeen since Derek took over, there has always been a period in each season that there have been questions asked. But come the end of the season, they have always finished in those top four positions, at least, and they have got to the latter stages of the cup competitions.

Derek McInnes will enjoy the benefits of working with his squad at the new training ground
Image: Derek McInnes hasn't tasted victory as Aberdeen boss in the league since December 14

"Would I be surprised if that happens again this year? No. Am I surprised that they are not scoring goals? Yes. But the big thing for me is that I would not be surprised if Aberdeen finished third.

"Considering how well Motherwell have done, for Aberdeen to be three points off them is not really that bad. There is always that period of the season where Aberdeen have a dip in form but they always seem to find a way to come back.

Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo challenges Alfredo Morelos for the ball 2:41
Hamilton Academical manager Brian Rice says the gap between Scotland's top two teams and the rest of the league is increasing.

"Hamilton will cause Aberdeen problems. They are a decent outfit - Brian Rice has got them playing some good football. Hamilton get youngsters in the team, they give them an opportunity to perform. David Templeton is a shrewd signing; Aberdeen will need to be wary of him especially because he is the one who can make a difference.

"They have been over the course and the distance season after season in terms of everybody saying they are going to go down and they have managed to get away from that bottom spot and this will be a test but I am sure it is one they will be looking forward to."

Scottish Premiership fixtures

Tuesday

Hamilton vs Aberdeen (live on Sky Sports)

Wednesday

Celtic vs Hearts

Hibernian vs Ross County

Kilmarnock vs Rangers

Livingston vs St Mirren

St Johnstone vs Motherwell

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