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Page last updated at 15:28 GMT, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 16:28 UK

Celtic team guide

BBC Sport's guide to Celtic.

How did Celtic finish last season? Won their third consecutive SPL title after a dramatic final day win against Dundee United saw them clinch the league ahead of Rangers.


Manager: Gordon Strachan has experienced the full gamut of emotions during his turbulent three-year tenure at Parkead.

Villified by some fans and lionised by others, his title win in 2007/08 saw him become only the third Celtic manager to secure three consecutive SPL titles.

Yet, a section of the club's supporters seem ill-at-ease with the former Aberdeen player at the helm.

Throw in the not insignificant fact Strachan has steered the club to two consecutive last 16 places in the Champions League and criticism of his managerial skills become all the more bewildering.

Captain: Stephen McManus has blossomed since Strachan succeeded Martin O'Neill as manager. 'Mick' is a no nonsense centre-half blessed with good pace and a fearless attitude. Always a threat from set-pieces, he can boast 15 goals in the last three seasons.

Scottish top-flight highlights: Celtic have been Scottish champions on 42 occasions. A dizzy run of nine titles in a row was achieved under the legendary Jock Stein between 1966 and 1974.

Celtic legend: Fans still heave a collective sigh at the memory of Henrik Larsson. Razor-sharp in front of goal, the talismanic figure has been one of the club's greatest players. The Swedish star scored an incredible 242 goals during his seven years at Celtic Park.

Celtic star Aiden McGeady

Star man: Aiden McGeady is the creative force in the side and is one of the few Celtic players who can fashion a chance out of nothing with a feint or a flamboyant piece of skill.

His work-rate is impressive and he has added goals to his game, although there is still room for improvement in that department.

Strengths: Celtic have a formidable home record and rely heavily on McGeady and Shunsuke Nakamura to create goals for Scott McDonald and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink. Under Strachan, the side have been able to dig out three points in away games with a series of late goals.

Weaknesses: Defensively, the side still appear fragile. Lee Naylor is unconvincing at left-back and the central defensive partnership of McManus and Caldwell is far from impregnable. Strachan is poised to enter the transfer market to add to his defensive options.


Our verdict: Pat McCourt and Georgios Samaras have been the only summer recruits so far and Strachan will be looking to strengthen his squad before the start of the season.

Rangers pushed the SPL champions all the way last time and the sides still appear evenly matched. With one or two additions likely, Strachan will be the favourite to steer his side to their fourth consecutive SPL title.

see also
Aberdeen team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Aberdeen
Dundee United team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Dundee Utd
Falkirk team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Falkirk
Hamilton Academical team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Hamilton
Hearts team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Hearts
Hibernian team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Hibernian
Inverness CT team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Inverness CT
Kilmarnock team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Kilmarnock
Motherwell team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Motherwell
Rangers team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Rangers
St Mirren team guide
05 Aug 08 |  St Mirren

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