The 2019/20 SPFL Premiership Team of the Season

Odsonne Edouard
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Celtic are champions, Hearts are relegated, Motherwell join Rangers in Europe, and Livingston - with the lowest budget in the league - have upset the odds yet again with another top half finish.

The SPFL Premiership season might not have ended like we'd imagined it would, but this week's announcement that the top flight would follow the bottom three divisions in curtailing its campaign early brought with it a sense of definitive closure.

We can finally look back on the 2019/20 campaign that was, and here is your best XI* across the 30 rounds of fixtures.

*limit of three players per Premiership team

Fraser Forster (GK)

Fraser Forster, Neil Lennon
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28 league games. 17 goals conceded, 14 clean sheets, two defeats and one league title.

The return of the imposing, imperious Forster to Parkhead has been a welcome and incredibly successful one, and securing his stay beyond the summer places high on Neil Lennon's list of priorities.

Liam Grimshaw (RB)

Liam Grimshaw
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Motherwell have been one of the stories of the season. Steve Robinson's side have outfought and outworked virtually, every team they have come up against - running them into the ground with their productive combination of industry and flair.

No player has encompassed that lively, combative spirit quite like the versatile Grimshaw, who made the right-back spot his own with a series of stellar performances.

Declan Gallagher (CB)

Does *anything* say 'SPFL' quite like a player coming back from a prison sentence to play top flight, and eventually international football?

Gallagher's call-up for Scotland earlier this season was a controversial one given his history, but one his performances at the heart of the Motherwell defence more than merited.

The 29-year-old finished the season as an ever-present in the league's third-best team, and looks dead-set for a European debut whenever qualifying kicks off for the 2020/21 Europa League.

Christopher Jullien (CB)

Celtic were crying out for the addition of a new centre-back last summer after stuttering to an eighth successive title. They were by no means in bad shape, having lost just five league games all season, but their need for a new defensive leader in an increasingly fragile-looking back line could scarcely have been more apparent.

'Big Chris' Jullien answered the bell.

The imperious Frenchman has delivered a level of defensive excellence rarely seen since the departure of Virgil van Dijk, and if they go on to claim a famous ten-in-a-row next season - which you would be a fool to bet against - then he'll have a starring role to play.

Borna Barisic (LB)

Rangers FC v Sporting Braga - UEFA Europa League Round of 32: First Leg
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It's been a defining season for Croatian defender Barisic, as he's gone from fairly shaky rotation option to the first name on the team sheet, seemingly at the drop of a hat.

His explosive performances down the left flank earned him a mightily impressive eight assists in 28 appearances, enough to capture the interest of Tottenham in March.

Ryan Jack (CM)

European promise aside, it was a poor campaign for Rangers, who watched what was a substantial title challenge collapse under the weight of itself after the turn of the year.

As demoralising as it might have been to fall apart and watch Celtic run away with title number nine, however, Steven Gerrard has plenty to of building blocks on which to reconstruct his team; one of which the hugely impressive Jack.

The Scotland midfielder gave off shades of his manager in a new box-to-box role, and you wonder how much worse their collapse might have been had he not been at the centre, holding it all together at times.

Alex Gogic (CM)

Alex Gogic, Joe Aribo
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Hamilton Accies are often described as 'a turd the Scottish Premiership just cannot flush'. Every season they look consigned to relegation, yet every year they do the absolute bare minimum required to keep their head above water.

They finished this season second-bottom, four points above Hearts, but have secured their top flight status for another year; and that's largely owing to the selfless, destructive and often shithousing presence of Gogic in front of the back four.

Liam Donnelly (CM)

Once a workhorse utility man on the fringes of the 'Well first team, Donnelly used 2019/20 to reinvent himself as an unlikely prolific goalscoring threat from midfield, and was one of his team's MVPs - even despite an injury record that might have derailed an inferior player.

Donnelly missed eight matches due largely to a recurring thigh issue, but still managed to net a tremendous 11 goals in 29 appearances across all competitions in what was, comfortably, his most productive season to date.

Christian Doidge (CF)

At the turn of the year, Alfredo Morelos had 12 league goals; Christian Doidge had seven. When the season was declared this week, Morelos had 12 league goals; Doidge, also, had 12.

A Scottish football front three without the Colombian might seem unthinkable, but his dramatic post-Christmas dip means he sits joint-third with Doidge on the scoring charts.

The Welsh striker edges it out, however; since the arrival of Jack Ross at Easter Road, he has been one of the most consistent players in the division, firing Hibs from relegation strugglers into the top six, before points per game nudged them back into seventh.

Odsonne Edouard (CF)

Deciding which three players to take from Celtic's dominant squad was perhaps the biggest challenge of naming this XI. Edouard and his 22 goals, however, were never in any danger.

The 22-year-old has been steadily improving ever since his initial loan move from PSG all the way back in 2017, and even before this season, all signs suggested he was developing into a prodigious talent.

He has once again raised the bar, however, with a season that has earned him the undisputed status as Scottish football's alpha striker. Some reckon he's one of the most talented players ever to grace Celtic Park; from a club who brought you Kenny Dalglish, Henrik Larsson and Moussa Dembele, that's saying something.

Lyndon Dykes (CF)

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Rounding things out with Livingston's selfless sensation, Dykes' goal tally may seem modest in this company, but it's his performances, not the raw numbers, which tell the story.

The 24-year-old has shown his worth as a real battering ram, occasionally off the left but usually through the middle, and even the almighty Jullien struggled to contain him this season: Dykes netting in a stunning 2-0 win over the Hoops back in October and laying on an assist for Scott Robertson in March's 2-2 draw.

On numbers alone, however, he's not bad either. He finished the season as Livi's top scorer in all competitions (12 goals) and their most efficient creator (10 assists), and looks to have a highly-promising few years ahead of him.

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