After an eventful and unpredictable start to the Scottish Premiership season, Kris Boyd and Andy Walker have chosen their campaign teams so far.
Rangers are ahead of their Celtic rivals by six points, but only two players on each side are featured in Walker’s XI, while Boyd has selected three from both halves of the Old Firm.
The pair only agreed on four selections and also opted for different lineups, with players from Dundee United, Hearts, Hibernian, Motherwell and Ross County as well.
Walker: The quality of the Premiership is fantastic
Walker said, “I went for Craig Gordon in goal – he has been outstanding at this stage of his career and you have to bear in mind that he has recovered from such a serious moment with an injury.
“He was released from Celtic after a very successful bout and you thought he was just going to be downhill, but he has shown he is still capable of making fantastic saves and has returned to the international arena. It’s an amazing story.
“Harry Clark it might surprise people with Ross County near the bottom of the table, but I’ve seen them a few times and this young guy, on loan from Arsenal, has the physique, energy and running power. I think he could play at a much bigger club in the future.
“Motherwell has a player inside Bevis Mugabi who is totally committed and can play three-man or right-handed as a back four. He also has the ability to get on and off that field. He is a true team player.
“Leon Balogun it hits me when I see it. The game he played against Celtic, when it was so surprising to see him start, handled that occasion very well. This is what I like about some players, you are thrown deep inside and they survive and show you that they have so much potential.
“And when you see what someone likes Stephen Kingsley brought to this Hearts team including those free kicks – he’s a real asset to this XI.
“With someone like Joe Newell, he doesn’t necessarily score goals but my God he can pass a ball.
“He can take it in a restricted area and he can keep possession: it will be interesting to see how it evolves under the management of Shaun Maloney.
“I also went with Joe Aribo who has been arguably the most consistent Rangers player this season and he is there too Jeando Fuchs which really impressed, especially in the first part of the season.
“I thought his level of performance was one of the main reasons why Dundee United were consistent in keeping clean sheets and winning games only by the odd goal.
“Who And Kyogo they have impressed since they arrived at Celtic. I think their performance in the match against Dundee at Dens Park, when they were scoring and preparing the goals, stood out. They did this consistently.
“Finally, I went for Tony Watt. I’m a little surprised he’s ready to move to Dundee United because I thought he’d found a place where he was really happy at Motherwell.
“His goal against Dundee United was sensational and United need someone to replace Lawrence Shankland, so if they catch Watt, they will have a scorer who could be in the best shape of his career.”
Boyd: Versatility is the key to my team
Boyd said, “Like Andy, I was so impressed with how Craig Gordon he’s been performing this season – some of his saves have been outstanding and he’s a real asset to Hearts.
“Instead of Andy’s four, I went with the three from behind John Souttar, Cameron Carter-Vickers And Charlie Mulgrew.
“Dundee United have been strong defensively, especially in the early part of this season. Mulgrew’s partnership with Ryan Edwards has been good, but I decided to go with Charlie because of the flexibility he gives my team as he can move to left-rear area too.
“Celtic have conceded the fewest goals in the league and I think Carter-Vickers was instrumental in that. It was the one who was the most consistent.
“I mentioned Gordon to Hearts, but the man ahead of him John Souttar was also excellent. He’s another one who had to come back from injury problems and show that strength to fight and earn his place on the team.
“Not only did he do that, but he joined the Scottish team and scored that goal in the win over Denmark – it was fantastic.
“It might look straight to the slot James Tavernier to the right of my four in midfield but his numbers speak for themselves. When you look at his contribution to Rangers this season he has been excellent.
“Going back to that point of flexibility in my team, he could also fall into that right-back slot as Mulgrew moves to the other side.
“Joining Tavernier in midfield is Glen Kamara And Joe Aribo. Glen comes just ahead of Callum McGregor who has also had a great season so far, but his teammate at Celtic Who he would have entered from that left side and has already shown this season how dangerous it can be from there.
“My top three include players from three different clubs. The first is Martin Boyle which was excellent for Hibs. The versatility and flexibility he has are really impressive, he can play front, right wing and right midfield: he has done really well this season.
“Motherwell will be gutted if they lose Tony Watt. Not long ago he couldn’t get a match and now let’s talk about his return to the Scottish squad. I think this shows how well he did in the first months of the season.
“And finally, Kyogo which has been a breath of fresh air since he came to Scottish football.
“His movement was first class and his conclusion was also really good. The impact he had probably kept Celtic at a distance from Rangers as there have been many games that have been close and he has been able to find that advantage or winner. “
Which managers stood out?
Walker said: “Graham Alexander brought Motherwell to the top half of the table. He has very modest resources and had another big change in the players there.
“I watched them at the start of the season and thought they would struggle, but they surprised me. They were very consistent and won some important games.”
Boyd said: “There have been two outstanding candidates for me. Tam Courts did a great job at Dundee United, but I intend to Robbie Neilson.
“The work he’s done, being able to take Hearts in the first place and then go and perform like they’ve done so far is impressive.”