Scottish Premiership Preview: What do VAVEL's experts think about the season ahead?
Odsonne Edouard is squeezed out by the Hearts defence (Getty Images/Mark Runnacles)

Who do you think will win the league? We asked this and more to several members of VAVEL's SPFL team. Here's what Graham Davidson, Richard Wilson, Rory West, Barry Spence, Gerry Johnston, Anthony Evans, Stuart Mitchell and Calum Brown had to say.

Who will win the 2019/20 Scottish Premiership? 

Graham: It’ll be closer than it’s been for a good four years, but it’s going to be 9-in-a-row for Celtic. We might see a genuine title race though.

Richard: Can't make an argument against Celtic. They've looked good in Champions League qualifying so far and they have the money to blow any title challenge away.

Rory: I can't really look past Celtic however I think Rangers will run them close. 

Barry: It will be a closer run title race this year as Rangers continue to gain momentum under Gerrard, however it's still Celtic's trophy to lose.

Gerry: Celtic are still the best team in the league and if they can avoid injuries, they will win it by more points this season. 

Anthony: Celtic.

Stuart: Celtic.

Calum: Celtic - I think the top two sides will be a lot closer this season, with Rangers still closing the gap, but I can't see past Celtic. I think Neil Lennon's side will win their ninth title in a row, but narrowly.

Who will win the cup competitions? 

Graham: Neil Lennon simply isn’t as good a manager as Brendan Rodgers, so the quadruple treble isn't going to happen. I’ll go for one cup each for Rangers and Aberdeen. 

Richard: A quadruple treble surely can't happen but a double can.  Celtic for the Scottish Cup and Motherwell for the League Cup.

Rory: I can't see another treble from Celtic but I still think they'll win the Scottish Cup with Motherwell winning the Betfred Cup.

Barry: Rangers will be going all out for any silverware this season so fancy them to collect the Betfred Cup with this being the earliest opportunity. Don't discount Hibs or Aberdeen in either competition, providing the draws are kind.

Gerry: Celtic will win one but will miss out on the treble. Rangers, Aberdeen or one of the Edinburgh sides will grab the other trophy. 

Anthony: Celtic.

Stuart: League Cup - Celtic, Scottish Cup - Rangers. 

Calum: Celtic and Rangers - I fancy Rangers to win one of the two cup competitions. I can't see Celtic winning another treble, but I still think they'll win another trophy outwith the league. I can see Motherwell reaching a Final or at least a Semi.

Who will be the three sides to qualify for Europe via league or cups? 

Graham: Obviously Rangers and Aberdeen for the first two, and I fancy Hearts for the final place. While many Hearts’ fans might not share my optimism, a fully fit Steven Naismith can still work wonders in this league.

Richard: Rangers and Aberdeen are obvious, but fourth is open. Hibs look in pole position for it on paper.

Rory: Celtic and Rangers will have the top two spots cemented while Aberdeen will take up the third spot. 

Barry: Similar qualifiers to this season with the exception of Hibs in place of Kilmarnock.

Gerry: Rangers, Aberdeen and Hearts will be top four and unless someone else wins a cup, they'll be in Europe.

Anthony: Celtic, Rangers and Aberdeen.

Stuart: 1st Celtic, 2nd/SC Rangers, 3rd Aberdeen, 4th Hibs.

Calum: Hibs and Aberdeen - Assuming that my predictions are correct and Celtic and Rangers are in the top two and are cup winners, that leaves two European places which I believe will go to Hibs and Aberdeen. Hibs have strengthened well under Heckingbottom in the summer after they finished the league strongly last year, and the Dons are always challenging to push the top two so I expect them to finish in the top four.

Who will be the bottom two teams and in which order? 

Graham: St Mirren don’t look any better than they were last season, while Livingston were woeful after Christmas last term, and now have a massive Craig Halkett-shaped hole in their defence. Livi to go straight down, play-offs again for the Buddies.

Richard: St Mirren are destined for the bottom and I'm going for St Johnstone to go into the playoffs. A bad year for Saints all round.

Rory: On paper, Hamilton's squad looks the weakest but they always survive. I'll go with St Johnstone and St Mirren.

Barry: Hamilton for automatic relegation and St Mirren to once again test their resolve in the playoffs.

Gerry: St Mirren will be bottom and I fear for Killie this season. Steve Clarke did a great job with them and they will drop down the table but I think they should just avoid the playoff with Hamilton dropping in. 

Anthony: 11th Hamilton, 12th St Mirren.

Stuart: 11th Hamilton, 12th St Mirren.

Calum: St Mirren and Hamilton - I predict that Accies will go down this season automatically. I just don't feel they've added too much quality in the summer and that their time has come. They haven't had a great Betfred Cup campaign, along with St Mirren who again haven't really added to their squad. I fancy St Mirren to go down through the Play-Offs this time with the Championship looking stronger than ever. Livingston and St Johnstone will do worse than they did last campaign but I think they'll beat the drop.

Who will be top goalscorer? 

Graham: Alfredo Morelos is currently the best striker in Scotland, but he may not be here for much longer. Leigh Griffiths, on the other hand, looks rejuvenated and newly focused, so Griffiths to take this one.

Richard: Leigh Griffiths would seem predetermined for it, given he is returning after his troubles. Billy McKay may have an outside shot - he has plenty to prove this season after his last stint in the Premiership.

Rory: With Morelos' future still in doubt, I think Jermaine Defoe will prove his pedigree this season. 

Barry: Providing he stays fit and well Leigh Griffiths will be a difficult man to outscore domestically, Alfredo Morelos will be up there too should he manage to keep his temper under control.

Gerry: I think the best finisher in the league is Leigh Griffiths. However, Odsonne Edouard is a better all-round footballer so it depends if Griffiths gets enough minutes. If he plays the same amount of time as Morelos, Griffiths will outscore him. 

Anthony: Odsonne Edouard.

Stuart: Alfredo Morelos.

Calum: Odsonne Edouard - I think the Frenchman's goals will fire Celtic to the title, assuming he can stay fit. He's been in the country long enough to have adapted to the style, so I feel this will be the year that he hits 20+ goals.

Who will win Player of the Year? 

Graham: Ryan Christie showed flashes of genuine ability in his loan spell of Aberdeen, but properly came of age back at Celtic last season. If he can push on again this season for club and (hopefully) country, he can win player of the year, and maybe attract attention from England.

Richard: It is surely Callum McGregor's turn to make the breakthrough to a higher level this term. 

Rory: Despite not tipping them to win the league I think it will be a good season for Rangers, in particular, James Tavernier. 

Barry: Joe Aribo - somewhat of a coup for the blue side of Glasgow and he brings a lot of quality to their midfield. He will show a lot of clubs that were interested in him just what they missed out on.

Gerry: The best player in Scotland is Callum McGregor. He has improved beyond recognition over the last few years and the powers that be will recognise that. 

Anthony: James Forrest.

Stuart: Callum McGregor

Calum: Odsonne Edouard - If I'm right in my prediction for the number of goals he'll score, I feel that the Celtic frontman will win this award due to him being an instrumental part in the Hoops title win.

Who do you think will prove to be the best summer signing? 

Graham: While I still can’t see Rangers winning the league, Joe Aribo might get them close. Signing a player who looked set for the English Premiership is a serious coup for Steven Gerrard, with the former Charlton man’s driving midfield style set to make him a star in Scotland. 

Richard: Kids and grown-ups love him so, it can only be Joe Aribo.

Rory: Looking at value for money I think Joe Aribo could prove to be the signing of the summer. 

Barry: Always a difficult one to answer in relation to the Scottish Premiership because the natural pull is to name one in at the Old Firm.

Craig Bryson at Aberdeen could prove a masterstroke by Derek McInnes, also worth a mention is Scott Allan's return to Hibs and Jermaine Hylton will cause a lot of defenders issues in Motherwell's attack.

Gerry: Christopher Jullien. The big centre-back was badly needed at Celtic and Neil Lennon will have the players around him solid and he will be the standout in a good defensive season for Celtic. 

Anthony: Craig Bryson.

Stuart: Joe Aribo or Craig Halkett. 

Calum: Sheyi Ojo - Rangers haven't managed to get Ryan Kent back on loan from Liverpool, but I think Ojo will cause Premiership defences problems with his pace and trickery. Some honourable mentions go to Aberdeen, Hibs and Hearts, with Craig Bryson, Scott Allan, Craig Halkett and Steven Naismith the pick of the bunch if they can stay fit.

If you could have one wish granted for or against a Scottish Premiership club what would it be? 

Graham: I’d like the SFA to ban a certain club from moving to soulless new stadium miles out of town, especially when they have a perfectly good ground bang in the middle of in the city of Aberdeen which just needs a new main stand. 

Richard: While not specific to one club, if Celtic's incredible trophy run does have to end, it'd be great for it to not be Rangers that end it and for the silverware to be going to smaller clubs as it did prior to 2016.

Rory: As an Aberdeen supporter it would have to be an Aberdeen treble, possibly a quadruple including the Europa League. 

Barry: Kilmarnock to build on the fantastic work done by Steve Clarke to keep another club capable of causing upset to the top two, a tough ask and a poor start to life without the Scotland gaffer so far.

Gerry: A good run in Europe. Something that hasn't been done in a few years. Be it Celtic reach the knockouts of the Champions League or even win a knockout tie in the Europa League. Even Aberdeen reaching the group stages of the Europa League would be fantastic progress for the league. 

Anthony: Mikey Devlin to stay fit!

Stuart: Angelo Alessio to prove the doubters wrong and have a successful campaign with Kilmarnock.

Calum: Tough one this. As a Livingston supporter, I'd have to go with a shock Premiership title for the Lions. If that's too much to ask a European place? Top six finish? A billionaire to take over? Actually, just give me Premiership survival. As for another club, I'd wish for success in European competitions for the clubs competing this year, as it can only be good for the nation as a whole.

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