The Bhoys are currently one point clear of second-placed Hibernian but the former Bolton manager, who had successful stints as a striker with Motherwell and Falkirk among other Scottish clubs, believes Neil Lennon's men will shoot clear once their Champions League fate is known next week.
"It's looking very competitive. You have to balance that and recognise the biggest single player in that would be the distraction Celtic have in the CL. There is no getting away from that," he said.
"I would expect in the coming weeks when the Spartak (Moscow) game (on December 5) is taken care of by Celtic, then for those couple of months before it comes around again I think we will see Celtic opening a gap up in the league.
"But it has brought a real competitive edge. I think we all accept Celtic will win the league but there are now six, seven or eight teams that feel they can finish second."