Celtic's Thomas Rogne is refusing to accept the defence of their league title will be a formality in Rangers' absence.
In the absence of their Old Firm rivals, the Hoops will be odds on favourites to retain their Scottish Premier League title.
Some observers are worried there will be a lack of genuine competition next season but Rogne is not of that opinion.
"I hear people saying that we are going to win the league easily but that's not going to happen," he said.
"I don't know why they say it. - to provoke a little bit probably.
"It's going to be tough. It's always going to be tough winning games and it's going to be tough to win the league."
Celtic will begin their campaign on Wednesday when they face HJK Helsinki in a Champions League qualifier on Wednesday.
Neil Lennon's team played in the Europa League last year which has increased the desire of the Celtic players to take part in Europe's Premier competition.
"We've got a chance to get into Europe and that's important for us," added Rogne.
"We played in the Europa League last year and we enjoyed it.
"If we get the chance to play in the Champions League this year, it's going to be even bigger.
"It's where everyone wants to be and hopefully we can take a Scottish team into the Champions League.
"It's our first competitive game so obviously we want to win the game and kick on for the season.
"If we get the chance to play in the Champions League at Celtic Park in front of the best fans in the world that would be amazing.
"They are a good team. We've seen them play and we are preparing really well for this game.
"The whole pre-season has been about this game.
"We know they are an organised team, they are a typical Scandinavian team, and they are going to be hard to beat.
"It's going to be tough but we are prepared for it."