MAKING predictions is a thankless task usually best left to meteorologists and fortune tellers. Sticking your neck out and trying to brazenly forecast the future never tends to end well. Especially when it comes to Scottish sport where the only certainty is that second-guessing any outcome will leave you with egg on your face.

This time last year Brendan Rodgers was “here for 10 in a row” and the notion he could leave Celtic midway through another championship season for Leicester City would have seemed preposterous. As would the idea that he would then be replaced by Neil Lennon. And yet here we are.

Nothing, then, is guaranteed and good luck to anyone willing to argue to the contrary. So rather than taking a wild stab in the dark at what might happen this year, here instead are some of the questions facing Scottish football in 2020.

Do Rangers have what it takes to win the title?

The short answer to this one is “yes”. Their performances this season have demonstrated as much, none more so than in the last two derbies against Celtic when they were the better side in both. If they were unfortunate to lose the Betfred Cup final then they ran out deserved victors in the league meeting at Celtic Park before the break.

Steven Gerrard looks increasingly assured in his second season as manager and he has put together a squad that looks well-balanced and of requisite depth.

Key to their chances of stopping Celtic winning nine-in-a-row, though, will be Alfredo Morelos. First, they need to make sure he is still on the payroll come the end of this transfer window. Second, the Colombian needs to ditch the recent indiscipline and get his head screwed on again. He is no use to Rangers sitting in the stand.

Of course, we have been here before. This time last year Rangers won the final match of 2018 and went into the winter break with optimism coursing through them. They then lost to Kilmarnock in their first league game back, then drew with St Johnstone, Hibernian and Killie to see their title charge quickly fade.

Both Celtic and Rangers have been remarkably consistent against the other 10 teams in the division meaning it could come down to the final two derbies of the season. Rangers have shown they have the talent to compete with Celtic. What they still have to prove is whether they have the mental strength, too.

Could Hearts be relegated?

What would have been a ridiculous idea in the summer looks less ludicrous midway through the campaign. It has undoubtedly been a shambolic season down Tynecastle way and they will undoubtedly be glad of the short breather that the winter break provides to try to get their act together.

Having persevered far too long with Craig Levein in the dug-out, Hearts again procrastinated before replacing him with Daniel Stendel. And what a start the German has had, taking just one point from his opening five matches.

That leaves Hearts five points adrift of Hamilton in the play-off spot and a further point behind St Mirren in 10th.

The bookies still make Accies the favourites to go down but the statistics don’t back that up. Not since Aberdeen in 2011 has a team been bottom of the table at Christmas and not been relegated, leaving Hearts with plenty to do if they are to avoid a similar fate.

Stendel needs a complete clear-out this month, with new players for just about every position on the pitch. And even then he must hope they all gel right away.

When Hearts were relegated in 2014 they could point towards administration and a 15-point deduction. This time they would have nobody to blame but themselves.

Will Scotland qualify for Euro 2020?

If the will of a nation alone was enough to make something happen, then Scotland would have no problems booking their passage to this summer’s finals in, erm, Glasgow. Alas for Steve Clarke and his players, simply wishing it so isn’t going to be enough to end a 22-year absence from major competitions.

Scotland have been so hot and cold for years now that, even just two months out, it is almost impossible to gauge how they might fare in the play-offs. Their case would be helped enormously if John McGinn, Kieran Tierney and Scott McTominay were to return from long-term injury, if Steven Naismith could stay fit and Leigh Griffiths could find form either at Celtic or on loan elsewhere.

The least the Tartan Army should expect is a home win over Israel in the semi-final. An away jaunt to Serbia and Norway, though, is an altogether different matter. Hope over experience is the only way to approach it all.

Will VAR finally arrive in Scottish football?

Rangers want it and the Premiership clubs are at least planning to sit down to talk about it.

But it still seems a long way away from becoming a staple of our game. The cost – estimated at around £1m a year – continues to be prohibitive for most of our clubs, while its unpopularity down south could also prove a deterrent.

Celtic and Rangers fans will get a taster of what is involved soon – VAR is to be used in their Europa League knock-out ties.