Why should the Scottish Premiership be your football fix?

Has your league got a club sponsored by a kebab shop?
Has your league got a club sponsored by a kebab shop?

The league season in England is over, and others around Europe are drawing to a belated conclusion... all just in time for the Scottish Premiership to crash back on to the stage.

It might feel like it's never been away after a summer of botched ballots, furious statements and court cases, but it has been five months since a competitive game took place in Scotland.

So, with your team probably idle for now, here's why you should keep an eye on the Premiership to get your football fix over the next few weeks.

The title race will be epic

The title race is always intense, with arch rivals Celtic and Rangers going head-to-head. But this season, the stakes have never been higher as the former look to win a fabled 10th championship in a row.

Both of Glasgow's big two have won nine consecutively before but neither has made double figures.

It can't really be overstated how much this means to both sets of fans, meaning pressure of different kinds are ratcheted up on Celtic manager Neil Lennon and his squad, and Steven Gerrard and his Rangers players. Failing to stop the 10 could well spell the end of the Englishman's reign.

So if you're a Liverpool fan keen to assess whether Gerrard could be the heir to Jurgen Klopp, now is a good time to pay attention as it will be the toughest examination of his managerial credentials yet.

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'Ibrox will be furnace of a place if Celtic win the 10'

There's no VAR

Nobody is gawping at bemused players waiting for a decision, arguing over the precise angle of a line on a screen, or trying to decipher whether an armpit hair has strayed into an offside position. And wild celebrations explode unchecked by the fear of an intervention from Stockley Park.

Scottish fans have long called for technology to be introduced but, after watching how VAR has been implemented in England, that noise has died down. The authorities are examining how they can bring it in, but for now, it's football in all its messy, unencumbered glory.

It's a 100mph throwback

While the expected ding-dong between Celtic and Rangers will grab most of the headlines, there is plenty of entertainment to be had elsewhere in the league. But don't take my word for it, here's what former Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher told BBC Scotland earlier this summer.

"It's a little bit of a throwback and people miss that," he explained. "I know people who last season were blown away. The response was unbelievable. They loved the aggression, the atmosphere, everything about it. It felt refreshing and that's the feeling I get when I watch it.

"I like that tackles are allowed to be given a little bit more. It's fast-paced at times. There's a lot more action. That's not to say the quality isn't there because it is. It's very good to watch."

It's off-the-scale daft

If you're not entertained by what you see on the pitch, then you'll certainly enjoy the madness off it.

Last season alone involved spats between a top-flight manager and a player's pop-star wife, and Benito Mussolini's granddaughter and Celtic fans, as well as an unexploded World War Two bomb at Inverness' ground, a phantom dive, and the discovery that the president of Albania is a bigger Celtic fan than Rod Stewart.

Even when the league was halted, we had four months of missing votes, bombastic statements, legal cases and just downright madness. Honestly, there is never a dull moment.

You can watch future Premier League stars

Scottish football is often mocked for its standard but more than a few of the English top flight's leading lights have learned their trade in Scotland.

That list includes Liverpool pair Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson, Arsenal full-back Kieran Tierney, Aston Villa's John McGinn, Sheffield United midfielder John Fleck, plus Ryan Fraser, Victor Wanyama, Stuart Armstrong, Kenny McLean and others too.

Current Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard and Rangers' Alfredo Morelos have been linked with moves across the border, and there is plenty of other young talent to look out for. So if you fancy doing a bit of scouting for your team, look no further than the Scottish Premiership.

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