Scottish football news: SPFL build-up, League Cup

Graphic for Scottish football news

Monday's headlines

  • SPFL season beckons
  • League Cup draw
  • European qualifiers build-up

Aberdeen are main challengers, says Celtic captain

Celtic captain Scott Brown
Celtic lost both visits to Pittodrie last season

Celtic captain Scott Brown thinks Aberdeen will be the biggest threat to their title defence this season.

Asked to pick one team who would be the biggest challengers to Celtic's bid for six-in-a-row, Brown said: "I think Aberdeen after the last couple of seasons.

"They have been exciting to watch, they have come to Celtic Park and got points and we have struggled up there. So hopefully we can do a little bit better this season."

The SPFL season kicks-off at the weekend, with Celtic away to Hearts on Sunday.

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Devlin boosted by Accies' captaincy

Michael Devlin has been confirmed as the new captain at Hamilton Academical.

The 22-year-old takes over the armband from Michael McGovern following the Northern Ireland goalkeeper's move to Norwich.

"It's a massive honour," said Devlin. "I feel it's something that I'm ready for, I feel can cope with it no problem and I feel I can offer the team something."

Kilmarnock reject approach for striker

Kilmarnock have turned down a bid from Oldham Athletic for Josh Magennis.

The 25-year-old striker was the top scorer at Rugby Park last season with 13 goals for the Scottish Premiership side.

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Top-flight ties in cup

Luke Watt and Kieran Tierney
Motherwell and Celtic are in the last 16 of the League Cup

The first-round group stage of the League Cup concluded over the weekend and the draw for the last 16 was made on Sunday.

The competition moves to a straight knockout from this round onwards and there will be two all-Premiership ties next midweek.

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Celtic & Dons face crucial qualifiers

Derek McInnes
Derek McInnes' Aberdeen are in European action this week

It's a big week for both Celtic and Aberdeen as they seek to progress in Europe.

Celtic are tied at 1-1 with Kazakh side FC Astana ahead of their Champions League third qualifying round second leg in Glasgow on Wednesday. The Scottish side may be without midfielder Nir Bitton, who is nursing an ankle injury.

The Dons are also at 1-1 in their Europa League third qualifying round tie with NK Maribor. However, unlike Celtic, the Dons do not have an away goal advantage ahead of Thursday's match in Slovenia.

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