Celtic lost both league visits to Pittodrie last season but took maximum points at home against the Dons

Celtic captain Scott Brown thinks Aberdeen will be the main challengers to their hopes of winning a sixth Scottish Premiership title in a row.

The Dons finished second in the Scottish Premiership last season, with Rangers promoted from the Championship.

“I think Aberdeen after the last couple of seasons,” Brown told Sky Sports when asked to pick the biggest threat.

“They have been exciting to watch, they have come to Celtic Park and got points and we have struggled up there.”

Aberdeen have been runners-up in the past two campaigns; finishing 15 points behind Celtic in May, two points closer than the previous term.

Glasgow rivals Rangers beat Celtic on their way to the Scottish Cup final last season and the Old Firm pair meet on league duty on 10 September.

When asked how he thought Rangers would fare, midfielder Brown said: “We’ll see that when it comes. That’s the fifth game of the season so we have got a few before that. Aberdeen have been great the last couple of years and so have Hearts after coming back up last season.”

On the derby fixture, Brown added: “It will be good. It’s always good, a Rangers-Celtic game, especially with the atmosphere. But there’s lots of huge games coming up for us and that’s way down the line.”

Focus on Astana

Celtic meet Astana on Wednesday in the second leg of their Champions League third qualifying round tie.

A second-half strike from Leigh Griffiths saw Rodgers’ side return from Kazakhstan last week with a 1-1 draw.

“We went over there and got the away goal,” Brown said. “That’s always going to help us. We played well on the day and maybe could have sneaked another one.

“But it’s going to be a great atmosphere back at Celtic Park and we’re looking forward to the game.”

With a visit to Hearts following on Sunday, Brown believes the European qualifiers will help Celtic get off to a strong start when they kick off their Premiership defence.

“Last season was a little bit disappointing overall but we still got the job done,” he said.

“This season we have started off well in the Champions League qualifiers and hopefully we will push that into the league.

“This is always the priority. It’s huge for us to try to get six in a row. We fought well last season and deserved it after a long hard season.”

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David Moyes: Sunderland task similar to Everton job

Sunderland need to make significant progress before they can attract players of the calibre of Marouane Fellaini, says new boss David Moyes.

The Manchester United midfielder played at Everton for Moyes, who then took him to Old Trafford in 2013.

Sunderland’s boss suggested the door would be “wide open” for players of that quality to come to the club.

“I’d love to have that level of player,” said the Scot. “Realistically, that’s probably not going to happen.”

Sunderland have yet to make a senior signing this summer, partly because of the uncertainty surrounding Sam Allardyce, who eventually left to become England manager last month.

“We’ve got bids in for players just now,” said the 53-year-old Moyes, who signed a four-year contract on 23 July.

“We’re trying to strengthen the squad and I’m hopeful some of them will come off. In this market at the moment, you just never know.”

Marouane Fellaini joined Manchester United from Everton for £27.5m in September 2013

Moyes takes over a club that have finished in the Premier League’s bottom eight in all but one of the nine seasons since they were promoted from the Championship in 2007.

He believes that Sunderland can become a regular presence in the top half of the table but has acknowledged that it will take time.

“It wouldn’t be outrageous to see Sunderland being a regular top-10 team, but for some reason it hasn’t happened,” he said.

“We need to do the work, get it right and give everybody something to shout about. We have to feel that we’re not in this league just to survive every year.”

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Leroy Sane helped Germany reach the semi-finals at Euro 2016

Leroy Sane is close to completing a move to Manchester City from Schalke for a fee of £37m plus add-ons.

The Bundesliga club announced on Monday