Scottish Premiership fixtures: Celtic open title defence at home to Hearts

Celtic v Rangers
Rangers will host the first Old Firm derby of the season in September

Celtic will begin their title defence at home to Hearts when the 2017-18 Scottish Premiership season kicks off on 5 August.

Rangers travel to Motherwell on the opening day while newly promoted Hibernian host Partick Thistle.

Kilmarnock take on St Johnstone, Aberdeen face Hamilton and Dundee welcome Ross County.

Ibrox will host the first Old Firm derby on 23 September, while Hibs take on Hearts on 25 October at Easter Road.

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Celtic were unbeaten domestically last term, picking up their sixth successive title, while Aberdeen finished second for the third year running.

Opening weekend fixtures - 5 August

  • Celtic v Hearts
  • Aberdeen v Hamilton Academical
  • Hibernian v Partick Thistle
  • Motherwell v Rangers
  • Kilmarnock v St Johnstone
  • Dundee v Ross County

Hamilton Academical will host Motherwell in the first Lanarkshire derby of the season on 14 October, while Pedro Caixinha's Rangers welcome Aberdeen to Ibrox the following week.

In the festive fixtures, on 23 December, Celtic take on Aberdeen, Motherwell host Dundee and Kilmarnock face Rangers at Rugby Park. St Johnstone welcome Hearts, Partick Thistle tackle Hamilton and Hibs are playing against Ross County.

Hearts host Hibs in the second Edinburgh derby on 27 December, while Celtic entertain Rangers on 30 December.

Hibernian celebrate
Darren McGregor, left, and his Hibs team-mates are relishing their top-flight return

For Hibernian defender Darren McGregor, the new campaign cannot come quick enough.

"It's great to be back with the big boys," he said. "We've got an opening day game with Partick Thistle who last year acquitted themselves really well.

"I was half panicking the first game would be against the Jambos but fortunately enough that will be the tail end of October. It's a Wednesday night under the lights at Easter Road and we've always done well under the lights so I'm looking forward to that.

"Being in the Championship for three years you want to get back up to the top table, play the big teams, play at Ibrox, Parkhead, Pittodrie and Tynecastle.

"All the boys are buzzing now and really looking forward to the season ahead."

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