Scottish Premiership post-split: Ross County play extra away games

David Bates and Adam Rooney
Rangers and Aberdeen will meet at Ibrox on 17 May

Ross County must play more away games than any rivals after the Premiership's post-split fixtures were announced.

With no bottom-six team safe from relegation, County will play 18 at home and 20 away, with three road trips over the final five fixtures.

Partick Thistle, in the top six for the first time, benefit from 20 home games across the campaign.

Since 2000-01, the 12 top-flight clubs split in two for the closing five rounds of matches.

Celtic, yet to lose a domestic game this season, secured their sixth consecutive title on 2 April, with eight games to spare.

The champions are now set to receive the trophy on the final day of the season at home to Hearts on Sunday, 21 May.

It will be the third successive away trip for Hearts, who must also make a third visit of the season to St Johnstone, their rivals for fourth place.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Motherwell, currently the bottom two, meet in the Highlands on the final weekend.

Dundee, who have lost six in a row, face a third away trip to Motherwell, the last team they managed to beat.

However, both Dundee and Hearts will each play 19 home and away games across the season, with the Edinburgh club having requested that they begin their post-split games at home since work is under way on a new main stand at Tynecastle.

Hearts head coach Ian Cathro said: "Obviously we are in a bit of a different situation and have asked for the support to be allowed to play the last three games away, which is an important thing in the timeline for the work that's going on in the stand.

Louis Moult and Gary Warren
Motherwell and Inverness currently occupy the bottom two places

"We are comfortable with how that's been put together."

Europa League qualifying spots have still to be decided. Aberdeen, nine points clear of Rangers in the runner-up race, go to Ibrox on Wednesday, 17 May.

Nine points cover the bottom six clubs.

The side finishing last will go down to the Championship, while the 11th-placed team will face one of the top sides from the second tier in the Premiership play-off final.

This weekend, Kilmarnock host Hearts on Friday, there are four Premiership games on Saturday and Celtic visit Ross County on Sunday.

After the split, Celtic, Aberdeen, Rangers, St Johnstone, Hearts and Partick Thistle play each other once.

Kilmarnock, Ross County, Dundee, Hamilton Academical, Motherwell and Inverness Caledonian Thistle make up the bottom half.

The SPFL previously announced that the final meeting of Rangers and Celtic this season will take place at Ibrox on Saturday, 29 April.

It is Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers' first experience of the league split and he admitted: "It's taken me about seven months to get my head round.

"For the team's from seventh downwards, it can be a nervy period. It is what it is.

"It's tough games towards be end of the season, but we'll just get ready for them."

Post-split Scottish Premiership fixtures:

All kick-offs 15:00 unless stated.

Fri 28 April

Ross County v Inverness CT (19:45)

Sat 29 April

Hamilton Academcial v Kilmarnock

Motherwell v Dundee

Rangers v Celtic (12:00)

Aberdeen v St Johnstone

Hearts v Partick Thistle

Sat 6 May

Inverness CT v Hamilton Academical (12:15)

Kilmarnock v Dundee

Motherwell v Ross County

Celtic v St Johnstone

Sun 7 May

Partick Thistle v Rangers (12:15)

Hearts vAberdeen

Fri 12 May

Aberdeen v Celtic (19:45)

Sat 13 May

Dundee v Ross County

Hamilton Academical v Motherwell

Kilmarnock v Inverness CT

Rangers v Hearts (12:15)

St Johnstone v Partick Thistle

Tues 16 May

Dundee v Inverness CT (19:45)

Motherwell v Kilmarnock (19:45)

Ross County v Hamilton Academcial (19:45)

Wed 17 May

Rangers v Aberdeen (19:45

St Johnstone v Hearts (19:45)

Thurs 18 May

Partick Thistle v Celtic (19:45)

Sat 20 May

Hamilton Academical v Dundee

Inverness CT v Motherwell

Kilmarnock v Ross County

Sun 21 May

Celtic v Hearts (12:30)

Partick Thistle v Aberdeen (12:30)

St Johnstone v Rangers (12:30)

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