Celtic and Rangers level going into international break; what next for Hearts and Hibs?
Last Updated: 12/11/19 7:03pm
Celtic and Rangers are still neck and neck at the top of the Premiership, while Hearts and Hibernian have decisions to make – Sky Sports pundits analyse how it looks in Scotland before the international break…
Both halves of the Old Firm were again victorious over the weekend, with wins against Motherwell and Livingston respectively, and remain separated at the top of the Scottish Premiership by goal difference alone.
Hearts and Hibernian picked up emphatic, and much needed, wins after recently sacking managers Craig Levein and Paul Heckingbottom, while Aberdeen continued their recent upturn in results.
Sky Sports pundits Kris Boyd and Andy Walker analyse how things stand in Scotland going into the international break.
Neck and neck in title race
Andy Walker: "I think they will be neck and neck - I said a number of weeks ago that I'm not expecting a great deal of defeats for Rangers and Celtic.
"Hamilton boss Brian Rice said recently he's never known such a gap between the Old Firm, with their strength and quality, and the rest of the table and I think he's right. It is reflected in the table, both of them neck and neck and hardly giving an inch.
"Rangers have improved and they are maybe pushing Celtic on a bit which wasn't happening before.
"But I think you are seeing a rebuild at Aberdeen, who have been the best of the rest in recent years, Hearts and Hibs have been awful so far this season - both have binned their manager and I think the rest are pretty much the same.
"The only ones who are punching above their weight just now are Motherwell who have been terrific."
Rangers must keep Morelos in January
Kris Boyd: "He has 22 goals already, it is fantastic - a great return. When you see some of the transfers down the road, the numbers are crazy but, for me, strikers are very hard to come by and especially ones who are scoring goals.
"I've said it, Rangers, especially in January, can't accept anything for him. This season in terms of how he has improved - not only his goalscoring but his all-round play - he's been excellent.
"Right now he's in the form of his life. It will be the summer [a potential move] and it [transfer fee] could be anything in terms of north of £20m because he can score goals and it is very difficult to get a striker who can do that right now in world football.
"Strikers right now in world football in terms of working the back four and asking problems and playing one up front - he can do the lot. He's shown it on the big stage in Europe. I've always had the criticism against Celtic as well, I know how eager he will be to score more against Celtic but he'll be hoping that comes and if it does then there will be more money added on to any transfer fee but, for me, it will be north of £20m.
Andy Walker: "He has still got that anger in his game but it is much more controlled, he is channelling it in all the right directions and it is to the benefit of the team because he is spending more minutes on the pitch. Last season his lack of discipline was just unacceptable."
What next for Hearts and Hibernian?
Kris Boyd: "They can attract big names. Jack Ross is someone who will be at the top of the list for both and I wouldn't be surprised if he interviews for both teams and then he'll have a decision to make.
"Both have, over recent years, gone with a model that I don't think they will want to drift too far away from. The recruitment side of it at both clubs - the manager will have a say in it - but people above them will be the main source of bringing people in.
"Both are attractive jobs and there will be a lot of candidates looking at them.
Andy Walker: "Surely you can't appoint a manager at Hearts and then a sporting director, surely it has got to be the other way about. We spoke about this when Rangers did it and it looked to be a big mistake.
"I think you have got to get the sporting director, if that is a title that Ann Budge seems to be keen on, which is absolutely fair enough, but you have got to get him in first so that he establishes a relationship immediately by approving whatever head coach or manager comes in."