Thursday, June 30News That Matters

SPFL Premiership 2020-21: Celtic start 10-in-a-row quest at home to Hamilton

Neil Lennon and Steven Gerrard

Celtic will commence their bid for an unprecedented 10th successive Scottish Premiership title at home to Hamilton Academical on 2 August.

Steven Gerrard’s Rangers will travel to Aberdeen the previous day with fixtures across the league set to be initially played behind closed doors.

Elsewhere, newly-promoted Dundee United will play their first top-flight game in four years at home to St Johnstone.

The opening Old Firm match is scheduled for 17 October at Celtic Park.

The SPFL website states the season will start on time next month subject to approval from the Scottish Government.

There are two full Premiership fixture cards on Friday nights across October and November, which will provide extra preparation time for the Scotland national team going into their European Championship play-off.

In a break from convention, there will be no winter break for the forthcoming campaign in January. Instead, teams will face each other throughout January, with Celtic travelling to Ibrox and Hamilton hosting Motherwell in the Lanarkshire derby on 2 January.

The Premiership is the only league in Scotland that will start in August due to the continued fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The truncated 27-game Championship, League One and League Two campaigns are not due to begin until October.

“The pre-season fixture announcement is always a key event in every football supporter’s calendar, but it feels particularly important this year, given the challenges caused by Covid-19,” said SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster.

“Football plays a unique role in the social, cultural and economic life of Scotland, and I’m sure the millions of passionate fans who follow our game will welcome this significant step towards the resumption of matches.”

Opening Premiership fixtures in full

All kick-off times 15:00 BST unless stated

Saturday 1 August

Aberdeen v Rangers (17:30 BST)

Dundee United v St Johnstone

Hibernian v Kilmarnock

St Mirren v Livingston

Sunday 2 August

Celtic v Hamilton Academical (16:30 BST)

Monday 3 August

Ross County v Motherwell (19:45 BST)

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BBC Sport – Sport

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