Scottish football: Who will win what in season 2015-16?

Celtic were league champions in 2014/15

The last campaign may still be fresh in the memory, but this weekend the new Scottish football season gets underway.

Celtic will again target a domestic treble, however Aberdeen may have something to say in the title race, while recent Scottish Cup wins for St Johnstone and Inverness CT will have everyone believing they can make it to Hampden.

Hearts are back in the top flight, but they have left behind Rangers and Hibernian who again have to tackle a tough looking Scottish Championship.

And, with just four games to go, Gordon Strachan has Scotland still in with a chance of qualifying for Euro 2016.

Five of the BBC Scotland team make their predictions.

Jonathan Sutherland, Sportscene presenter

Can anyone stop Celtic making it five in a row?

It would be terrific if Aberdeen could push Celtic even harder than they did last season. The squad is stronger, however, so too are Celtic. Manager Ronny Deila appears to now have the measure of Scottish football and I can see him winning the Premiership by more points than they did last season, and I think it's all there for them to do the treble.

How will Hearts fare in their first season back?

I think Hearts will finish third. The whole club is pulling strongly in the right direction under the assured stewardship of Ann Budge, and the dynamic between Craig Levein and Robbie Neilson clearly works. Winning the Championship last season will have given the squad confidence and the new signings should give them real strength to compete in the top division.

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson has set his side a target of finishing in the top six
Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson has set his side a target of finishing in the top six

Who will be the signing of the season?

For me Graeme Shinnie is the best left-back in Scotland, and represents great business by Aberdeen. He's versatile, great on the ball, supremely fit and just adds another really strong element to an already very good squad. He's got Andy Robertson to contend with but an international call-up can't be far away.

Who will win the battle for the Scottish Championship?

Mark Warburton seems to have brought in a matter-of-fact, no-nonsense mentality to Rangers. He has players he knows and trusts from a good level in England, and seems keen to blend the young talents at Ibrox who lost their way under previous regimes. Hibs will be their biggest rival, and while John McGinn will be a good addition there are still question marks. Do they have the firepower? I'm not sure. I know it's just one early season game but the capitulation to Rangers in the second-half of the 6-2 defeat was worrying.

Where will Scotland finish in their Euro 2016 qualifying group?

Deep breath - I think Scotland will finish second in Group D. Performances like Poland away demonstrate how far we have come. I think the wind is in our sails, and we've got our wobble out the way with that first-half against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin. Strachan knows what he is doing and the players believe in him.

Premiership top three: Celtic; Aberdeen; Hearts

Bottom two: Hamilton Academical (relegated); Partick Thistle (play-off)

Championship winner: Rangers

League One winner: Dunfermline Athletic

League Two winner: East Fife

League Cup: Celtic

Scottish Cup: Celtic

Richard Wilson, columnist and radio pundit

Can anyone stop Celtic making it five in a row?

Aberdeen are stronger this season, having made some shrewd summer signings, but Celtic also have Nadir Ciftci who provides an extra attacking option. Celtic will be more consistent and more fluent now that Deila has been in place for more than 12 months.

The main battle at the top is expected to be between Celtic and Aberdeen
Celtic and Aberdeen will resume hostilities when they meet on 12 September

How will Hearts fare in their first season back?

They have signed good players, who are better than those they are replacing, and can pick up the momentum from last season's romp to the Championship. Neilson is only in his second season as a manager, but he and his players are more than capable of securing a top six finish.

Who will be the signing of the season?

Juwon Oshaniwa is a left-back of good pedigree who has all the attributes to play at a higher level than the Premiership. Hearts could well benefit from an excellent season from the Nigerian and then from selling him on next summer.

Who will win the battle for the Scottish Championship?

Although Warburton is new to the job, and there has been a wholesale signing of new players who will take time to settle, Rangers have greater resources and a stronger squad. Hibs will be their closest challengers, but lack a goal scorer and will ultimately fall short.

Where will Scotland finish in their Euro 2016 qualifying group?

In second place. There are difficult games to negotiate, but Strachan has rebuilt confidence and optimism, as well as the belief of the players. It will be a tall order, but qualification through finishing runners-up is more than possible.

Scottish Premiership top three: Celtic; Aberdeen; Hearts

Bottom two: Partick Thistle (relegated); Hamilton (play-off)

Scottish Championship winner: Rangers

League One winner: Dunfermline

League Two winner: Arbroath

League Cup: Aberdeen

Scottish Cup: Celtic

Hibernian finished ahead of Rangers last season but lost in the play-offs and in last week's Petrofac Training Cup tie
Hibernian finished ahead of Rangers last season but lost in the play-offs and in last week's Petrofac Training Cup tie

John Barnes, commentator

Can anyone stop Celtic making it five in a row?

I can't see any real challenge. Other clubs can only hope Celtic have a lengthy European campaign because last season Deila's men dropped 10 points in league matches which immediately followed a European tie.

How will Hearts fare in their first season back?

I expect Hearts to make a good start to the campaign. But, the question will be whether in their first season back in the top flight they can sustain that over the full season.

Who will be the signing of the season?

I expect Kris Boyd to do well in his third spell at Kilmarnock. He just seems more relaxed at the Rugby Park club and I'm sure the goals will flow to help the Ayrshire side to a more respectable finishing spot.

Who will win the battle for the Scottish Championship?

Rangers should win the Championship at the second attempt. Hibernian and St Mirren will be expected to be their main challengers, but I believe Peter Houston's Falkirk will be the team to watch. I can see the Bairns in a play-off spot.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle lifted the Scottish Cup in May
Inverness Caledonian Thistle lifted the Scottish Cup in May

Where will Scotland finish in their Euro 2016 qualifying group?

Scotland will give a good account of themselves, but I just have the feeling that Strachan's men will finish in third place behind Germany and Poland. Then it will be all down to a play-off.

Scottish Premiership top three: Celtic; Aberdeen; St Johnstone

Bottom two: Hamilton Academical (relegated); Partick Thistle (play-off)

Scottish Championship winner: Rangers

League One winner: Airdrie

League Two winner: Queens Park

League Cup: Aberdeen

Scottish Cup: Celtic

Tom English, columnist and radio pundit

Can anyone stop Celtic making it five in a row?

In a word, no. Aberdeen will have another good season, but Celtic have too many gears.

How will Hearts fare in their first season back?

If their signings are as successful as last season then they'll be top six, and maybe top three.

Jackie McNamara has made a host of new signings as he tries to rebuild a new Dundee United team
Jackie McNamara has made a host of new signings as he tries to rebuild a new Dundee United team

Who will be the signing of the season?

Celtic's new defender Dedryck Boyota. A centre-half scoring goals in Europe. If he helps Celtic to the Champions League? Huge.

Who will win the battle for the Scottish Championship?

Rangers, but I said that last season and changed my mind after one week. They look a lot more robust this time under Warburton.

Where will Scotland finish in their Euro 2016 qualifying group?

I think they will be third. It will be into the play-offs, with fingers crossed.

Scottish Premiership top three: Celtic; Aberdeen; Hearts

Bottom two: Hamilton Academical (relegated); Kilmarnock (play-off)

Scottish Championship winner: Rangers

League One winner: Forfar

League Two winner: Queen's Park

League Cup: Celtic

Scottish Cup: Aberdeen

Scotland will face world champions Germany again in September as they plot a path to Euro 2016
Scotland will face world champions Germany again in September as they plot a path to Euro 2016

Clive Lindsay, online sport

Can anyone stop Celtic making it five in a row?

Aberdeen are the only side with any hope of mounting a challenge, but although Derek McInnes' side have strengthened their first-team pool, Deila has had a year in control as Celtic manager and the reigning champions are unlikely to suffer the same stumbling start to the season.

How will Hearts fare in their first season back?

Hearts were only really relegated to the Championship by default and strolled to the title last season. They return to the top flight with a stronger and more experienced squad and a top-six finish is well within their capabilities.

Who will be the signing of the season?

Few summer signings have got the pulses racing, but Oshaniwa will excite the Hearts faithful considering he has played at World Cup level with Nigeria. However, Boyata is likely to prove the acquisition of the summer so far because of his influence on Celtic's European campaign as well as their bid to retain the title.

Who will win the battle for the Scottish Championship?

Rangers under Warburton are unlikely to be as shambolic on and off the park as they were last season and will leave Hibs as runners-up for a second season.

Where will Scotland finish in their Euro 2016 qualifying group?

Third behind Germany and Poland.

Scottish Premiership top three: Celtic; Aberdeen; Hearts

Bottom two: Ross County (relegated), Motherwell (play-off)

Scottish Championship winner: Rangers

League One winner: Dunfermline Athletic

League Two winner: East Fife

League Cup: Celtic

Scottish Cup: Aberdeen

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