When Rangers can win the Scottish Premiership title

If you were still holding onto any tenuous reservations about Rangers’ title chances, now is the time to let them go.

Celtic’s defeat to Ross County in Dingwall, just hours after Steven Gerrard’s team had swept aside Dundee United at Ibrox, means there is now 18 points between the Glasgow rivals after 30 games each.

There are 24 points left to play for.

Even the most pessimistic of Rangers fans are now starting to believe that title 55 is now on the immediate horizon, and it looks set to arrive earlier in the season than they could ever have imagined.

As things stand, Celtic sit on 64 points, meaning the most they can possibly finish the season on is 88. Rangers, then – currently on 82 – need seven more points to win it.

The date they will be setting their sights on, then, is the Old Firm Derby at Celtic Park on 21 March. Assuming Celtic keep pace with Rangers in the two games between now and then, Gerrard’s side would travel to the home of their rivals needing just a point to clinch the title.

It could come sooner, of course. The earliest Rangers can possibly win the league now is their home match with St Mirren on 6 March – something that could happen if Celtic lose to Aberdeen on 27 February, and Rangers beat Livingston on the road a few days later.

If we can take both sides’ points per game averages as gospel, though (2.73 for Rangers, 2.13 for Celtic) and assume that extrapolates between now and the derby, then Rangers will go to Celtic Park with the chance to clinch the title.

Surprisingly, no matter what happens now, Rangers can’t go down in history as the fastest team to win the title. While no team has ever matched their 82 points at the 30-game mark, Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic team won the game at that junction in 2016/17.

Mark Warburton’s Rangers vastly underperformed compared to the current Celtic team, and that’s what allowed Rodgers’ side to clinch the title with eight games to spare.

Assuming they keep pace with Rangers between now and then, Celtic can of course prolong their rivals’ wait for a week or two with a win.

But no matter what happens from here, Rangers need just seven points from their final eight matches.

Given they have dropped just eight all season to this point, it’s fair to say they’re the favourites.