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Page last updated at 14:46 GMT, Friday, 24 September 2010 15:46 UK

Rangers' Kirk Broadfoot makes Celtic title favourites

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Celtic title favourites - Broadfoot

By Alasdair Lamont

Rangers defender Kirk Broadfoot believes Celtic are favourites to win this season's league title.

The Old Firm rivals have 100% records after five games, with Rangers ahead on goals scored.

But Broadfoot considers Celtic to have two principal advantages over his own club in the title race.

"The players they've brought in and the fact they play week-to-week while we've got hard games away in the Champions League," he said by way of explanation.

Rangers beat Dundee United 4-0 at home following their first Champions League match of the season; a 0-0 draw away at Manchester United.

But their subsequent five European games are followed by away matches against Hearts, Celtic, St Mirren, Dundee United and Inverness Caley Thistle.

"It's hard to sometimes lift your game when you come back off a Champions League game, it's a wee bit flat," said Broadfoot.

"We just need to raise our game."

The visit to Tynecastle follows next Wednesday's home clash with Turkish outfit Bursaspor but Rangers face another tricky away day on Sunday, travelling to Aberdeen.

Gers manager Walter Smith has not managed a win at Pittodrie since he returned for his second spell at Ibrox.

If we get hit by some injuries, we might have one or two problems

Walter Smith

"It doesn't come much more difficult than that," added Broadfoot, who played in Tuesday's 7-2 Co-operative Insurance Cup win over Dunfermline.

"I think the next two away games in the SPL are probably - outside the Old Firm - the hardest places to go.

"So it is a good test for the squad, considering it's a small squad, so hopefully we can get through that."

Rangers are aiming for a third consecutive championship success, while Celtic were very busy in the transfer market over the summer, bringing in 11 new faces.

The champions were more modest in their dealings and Smith is anxious to avoid any added stress on his pool of players.

"At this stage of the season, we are not looking at players being tired or anything like that," said the manager.

"Three games in a week is not a problem for them at this time of the year.

"Maybe if it's a continuing factor then maybe around January and February they could start to feel it a little bit.

"But, at the moment, we are only into the season and have only played seven or eight games so I don't think you really need to start bothering about playing three games a week at this stage.

"The obvious factor is injury, if we get hit by some injuries, we might have one or two problems.

"But we look forward to the three games we've got this week, they are big games for us.

"Away at Pittodrie, at home to Bursaspor, and then away at Tynecastle next Saturday. These are big games."



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