The Scottish Premiership has been forced into an early hiatus this season with the winter break being forced to happen a little earlier than is traditionally planned.

Indeed, Rangers currently lead the way as Giovanni van Bronckhorst aims to guide the Light Blues to a second title on the bounce after taking over from Steven Gerrard earlier in the season.

The Ibrox outfit is six points clear of nemesis Celtic after 20 games played, although the league does appear to remain a two-horse race as Hearts are nine points adrift of the Bhoys at the moment.

Whilst the winter break may have provided punters with the ideal opportunity to access and enjoy their favourite casino games, it has also provided Charlie Nicholas the perfect time to name his SPFL Team of the Season so far.

He was tasked to pick his team of the year by the Scottish Daily Express and revealed that his team would be mostly made up of Celtic players, despite the fact that they sit six points behind Rangers.

In fact, Nicholas only picked two Light Blues in his XI, although admitted that the best player in the league throughout 2021 was an Ibrox man: Joe Aribo.

He said: “I am not surprised the Nigerian international is starting to attract interest from the English Premier League.

“He has grown into a player that has a real responsibility within the Rangers team. He is an important player for the Light Blues.

“Aribo was excellent in the last three months of last season and he has just continued that form, when Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos went off the boil, into the new campaign.”

In addition to the eight from Celtic and Rangers, he also opted to pick two Hearts players and an individual from Hibernian to complete his Scottish Premiership Team of the Season.

So, who did he pick?

Nicholas opted for Celtic’s Joe Hart as his goalkeeper but admitted it could have been between Zander Clark, Allan McGregor, Hart and Benji Siegrist for the spot, before narrowing it down to the latter pair.

Celtic’s right-back Anthony Ralston joined him in a career that has been reinvigorated under Ange Postecoglou, whilst he was joined in the defence by Rangers’ Calvin Bassey and Hearts’ pairing, John Souttar and Stephen Kingsley.

Three central midfielders were selected by Nicholas, with two men from Celtic and one from Rangers. Obviously, Aribo was one of the choices to have been selected whilst he was joined by Callum McGregor and Tom Rogic

They are joined by Celtic Park team-mate Jota who takes up the left wing, whilst Hibs’ Martin Boyle is the only player to represent the Edinburgh outfit as he is selected on the right wing.

Lastly, and perhaps no surprise to anyone who has watched the Scottish Premiership recently, Celtic’s Japanese star Kyogo leads the line in this Team of the Year.

He already has 16 goals and five assists for the Bhoys in his 26 matches so far and has already established himself a fan favourite at Parkhead since arriving in the summer.