Paul Dickov assesses Celtic and Rangers chances

Paul Dickov - Scotland turns away from Edgar Davids - Holland

The Old Firm rivalry is renewed following Rangers' promotion back to the Scottish Premiership, but can Mark Warburton's side challenge champions Celtic to the title this season?

Paul Dickov - Scotland turns away from Edgar Davids - HollandDickov on international duty

Former Scotland striker Paul Dickov has told Talksport the battle between Celtic and Rangers this season will be closer than most bookmakers think.

Rangers are returning to the Premiership after four years in the doldrums, and will be looking to mount an immediate assault on the title, which has been won by their Old Firm rivals in each of the past five campaigns.

The Bhoys' recent dominance of Scottish football is reflected in their title odds, which are as short as 1/3 with Bet 365, while Mark Warburton's side are listed at 7/2 with Marathon Bet.

However, Livingston-born Dickov, who grew up a Celtic supporter, said Brendan Rodgers' side cannot be considered clear favourites.

New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is presented to the fans after the press conferenceRodgers was appointed Celtic's new boss earlier this summer

He told Talksport's Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show on Tuesday: "I think Celtic will be favourites but I can’t make them clear favourites.

"Rangers have made some great signings, they had some great young players already; (Martyn) Waghorn, Harry Forrester. And now they’ve added Joey (Barton) and Clint Hill the experience is there as well.

"I do think it’s going to be tight. All the pressure’s on Celtic this year so Rangers can have a right good go at it."

Despite his Scottish upbringing, Dickov never actually played or managed north of the border.

Doncaster Rovers manager Paul DickovDickov during his time as Doncaster boss

The 43-year-old began his career at Arsenal and had successful spells at Manchester City and Leicester City before hanging up his boots five years ago, having moved to Oldham Athletic as player-boss.

After three years in charge of the Latcis, Dickov took the reins at Doncaster Rovers, where Gers winger Forrester was one of his early signings.

Rangers' Harry Forrester (L) scores their first goalForrester has impressed since his mid-season switch to Ibrox

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch