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Live Reporting

Bryn Palmer

All times stated are UK

  1. It all kicks off again in a few weeks...

    Scottish fixtures announced

    Can anybody challenge Celtic's dominance? Will Steven Gerrard's arrival transform Rangers into genuine contenders? Who will be in the mix for Europe? Which teams will be fighting to avoid the drop? How will promoted St Mirren and Livingston fare?

    There are plenty of storylines to excite and intrigue ahead of the new campaign.

    It all kicks off in a little over three weeks - before the World Cup has even finished - as Scotland's European representatives are thrust into qualifying action.

    Celtic's opening match in the first qualifying round of the Champions League will be on Tuesday 10 or Wednesday 11 July, with Rangers and Hibernian involved in the first qualifying round of the Europa league on Thursday 12 July.

    And the domestic football season actually kicks off four weeks today, on Friday 13 July, with Kilmarnock hosting St Mirren in the first group game of the League Cup, and 15 more matches the following day.

    So enjoy the World Cup, the first week of Wimbledon, and we'll see you back here for the start of another season of Scottish fitba madness soon enough...

  2. Top-four tussles?

    Scottish fixtures announced

    Apologies to supporters who don't support any of the top four from last season's Premiership, but here are some key dates when that quartet meet each other over the first half of the season.

    Champions Celtic will have an interesting end to the year, with away games at Hibs, Aberdeen and Rangers in December.

    5 Aug: Aberdeen v Rangers

    25 Aug: Hibernian v Aberdeen

    1 Sep: Celtic v Rangers

    29 Sep: Celtic v Aberdeen

    20 Oct: Celtic v Hibernian

    27 Oct: Hibernian v Rangers

    10 Nov: Aberdeen v Hibernian

    12 Dec: Rangers v Aberdeen

    15 Dec: Hibernian v Celtic

    26 Dec: Aberdeen v Celtic

    26 Dec: Rangers v Hibernian

    29 Dec: Rangers v Celtic

    Hibs manager Neil Lennon makes a point as Celtic counterpart Brendan Rodgers looks on
    Image caption: Hibs and Celtic had several enthralling encounters last season, each club earning a win at home and sharing a couple of 2-2 draws
  3. Gerrard not getting 'obsessed with Celtic'

    Rangers boss Steven Gerrard told Press Association Sport his focus must be on his own team as he takes his first steps in management.

    He said: "I think for me it is important not to be obsessed with Celtic. I have to sort Rangers out. I think it is very disrespectful just to focus on one team in the league, especially when you finish third [behind Aberdeen] and Hibernian were breathing down your neck as well.

    "There are some good teams in the league but for me I wouldn't be doing my job properly if I was focusing on the other teams.

    "We're trying to add some personnel to help the current players who are there and yet my priority is the fitness levels in pre-season. I need to get the team fitter and stronger and ready for a big campaign. In terms of adding people to that, it will happen."

    Steven Gerrard
  4. Your comments - 'As a Motherwell fan it's ABC this year'

    Scottish fixtures announced

    You have been giving your thoughts in response to our story outlining some of the main highlights of the fixture list released by the SPFL this morning.

    Here are a selection:

    AF83: "Celtic have been given an easy start to the campaign & what's with Rangers playing 3 away games in first 4 matches? As for the mighty well Hibs away on the opening day what a game that will be. As a Motherwell fan it's ABC this year, Anyone Bar Celtic"

    Finkelstein: "Its definitely going to be Celtics year! Best of luck to Gerrard he is going to need it. He has started to sort out the squad to put his stamp on it and has already got rid of some of the dross."

    JohnnyO: "Gutted that Jack Ross left for Sunderland, but lets see what Alan Stubbs can achieve Hopefully he can attract some decent signings, or at least a few loans #MonTheBuddies"

  5. St Mirren's Stubbs savours new season

    St Mirren manager Alan Stubbs on Sky Sports:"I'm looking forward to the first game. There's a buzz around the stadium right now. There's a lot of excitement and anticipation.

    "There's a lot of storylines this season. I'm really looking forward to it. I think this season's going to be as competitive as it has been for a long time."

    Alan Stubbs
    Image caption: Alan Stubbs has replaced Jack Ross as St Mirren boss
  6. Get Involved

    Scottish fixtures announced

    David on Twitter: "Away to Aberdeen and Celtic in the first 4 games, if Gerrard gets us to top 6 at least we’ll have them both at home after the split"

  7. Get Involved

    Scottish fixtures announced

    Ryan W on Twitter: "The old firm matches might be more interesting this season"

  8. Post update

  9. What about Leagues One and Two?

    Scottish fixtures announced

    Opening fixtures - Saturday 4 August

    League One

    East Fife v Dumbarton

    Forfar Athletic v Airdrieonians

    Montrose v Arbroath

    Stenhousemuir v Brechin City

    Stranraer v Raith Rovers

    League Two

    Annan Athletic v Elgin City

    Berwick Rangers v Stirling Albion

    Clyde v Cowdenbeath

    Edinburgh City v Albion Rovers

    Peterhead v Queen's Park

  10. Thistle & County start against promoted clubs

    Scottish fixtures announced

    It's not just the Premiership fixtures that have been released this morning. Clubs in all four of Scotland's top divisions are discovering what awaits them in the coming months.

    Partick Thistle, relegated from the top flight after a play-off defeat by Livingston, and Ross County, who finished bottom of the Premiership pile last time, begin life in the Championship.

    Thistle start away at promoted Ayr United, last season's League One champions, while Ross County host Alloa Athletic, who moved up to the second tier via the play-offs.

    Here are the opening weekend fixtures:

    Ayr United v Partick Thistle

    Dundee United v Dunfermline Athletic

    Falkirk v Inverness Caledonian Thistle

    Greenock Morton v Queen of the South

    Ross County v Alloa Athletic

    Partick Thistle boss Alan Archibald looks downcast after his side's relegation is confirmed
    Image caption: Partick Thistle opted to retain Alan Archibald as manager after their relegation from the top flight
  11. Post update

  12. Will 'natural order' prevail in the capital?

    Scottish fixtures announced

    The traditional Edinburgh rivalry returned with a bang last season as Hibs finished fourth in their first season back in the Premiership, and were right in the hunt to finish runners-up at the business end of the season.

    Craig Levein has described Hearts' campaign, in which they limped home in sixth, as disappointing. He will not tolerate playing second fiddle to Hibs again, and has brought in eight new signings so far to try to lift his team up the table.

    Edinburgh derbies are rarely dull, and these often explosive encounters will go a long way to determining who finishes as the top dogs in the capital next season.

    The first one is scheduled for Halloween, a midweek encounter under the Tynecastle lights on 31 October. The second will be at Easter Road on the final weekend before the winter break - 29/30 December, with the third in the final set of fixtures before the split - on 6 April.

    Craig Levein, Neil Lennon
    Image caption: Craig Levein and Neil Lennon will both be aiming to make their side Edinburgh's top club next season
  13. How will the new boys fare?

    Scottish fixtures announced

    The joy of St Mirren and Livingston supporters following promotion to the Premiership was pretty short-lived. Swiftly after masterminding those triumphs, the architects at each club moved on.

    Jack Ross found the lure of English football too strong after leading the Buddies to the Championship title in style, and accepted an offer to try to revive the fortunes of fallen giants Sunderland.

    Saints have appointed former Hibs manager Alan Stubbs, a man with a good pedigree in the Scottish game having led the Edinburgh side to their first Scottish Cup in over a century.

    He will start with a home game against Dundee, with an away day at Rangers, a home match against Livingston, and another away day at Hearts to follow.

    David Hopkin's next move is uncertain, but he clearly felt his feat of getting Livingston up via the play-offs was as much as he could reasonably be expected to achieve.

    Livingston have been linked with the likes of Kenny Miller, John Hartson and Kevin Thomson, but have not made an appointment as yet.

    Their opener couldn't be any harder - away at champions Celtic. The West Lothian outfit then host Kilmarnock, travel to St Mirren, and host near-neighbours Hibs in their fourth game.

    Alan Stubbs
    Image caption: Alan Stubbs was named as the new St Mirren manager following the departure of Jack Ross to Sunderland
  14. Old Firm, new dynamic?

    Scottish fixtures announced

    The fixtures that jump out of the Scottish football calendar for many fans are those between the great Glasgow rivals Celtic and Rangers.

    It's been a pretty one-sided rivalry in recent times though. Celtic are unbeaten in 11 matches against Rangers since Brendan Rodgers took charge. That run has included two 5-1 hammerings, a 5-0 and a 4-0, which gives you an idea of the champions' dominance.

    If Steven Gerrard is to turn Rangers into genuine title contenders, surely he will have to improve on Rangers' dismal recent derby record.

    And he'll get an early opportunity - the first Old Firm derby is in his fourth league game - at Celtic Park on 1/2 September.

    Gerrard will have to wait until the final weekend of 2018 for his first home derby at Ibrox - on 29/30 December, with the third of four clashes scheduled for 30/31 March.

    Brendan Rodgers
    Image caption: Brendan Rodgers (right) has yet to taste defeat against Rangers in 11 matches
  15. Post update

  16. Post update

  17. Tough start for Gerrard

    Scottish fixtures announced

    "Let's go!"

    That was the rallying call issued by Steven Gerrard to the Rangers supporters after he signed a four-year deal to become the new manager at Ibrox.

    The appointment of the former Liverpool and England captain has captured the imagination of football fans throughout Britain and beyond. Gerrard is box office, but will he bring success?

    Gerrard will need to hit the ground running to close the gap on a Celtic side that finished 12 points clear of their rivals last season.

    But the SPFL fixture computer has not handed him a gentle introduction to Scottish football.

    Three away games in their first four, beginning at Aberdeen on Sunday, 5 August. An already spicy fixture at Pittodrie just got even spicier.

    Then it's a home game against St Mirren, on to Fir Park to face Motherwell, and then the big one - a first Old Firm game at Celtic Park against his old Liverpool boss, Brendan Rodgers, on the first weekend of September. Tasty.

    Steven Gerrard
    Image caption: Rangers manager Steven Gerrard signed a four-year deal at Ibrox
  18. Get Involved - Which fixture are you most looking forward to?

    Scottish fixtures announced

    As you scan your own team's fixture list, which is the one you are looking forward to more than any other?

    Tell us which is the biggest fixture for your team, and why.

    Get in touch on Twitter @BBCSportScot using hashtag #Scottishfixtures or via our BBC Scotland Sport Facebook book.

  19. Celtic host Livi, Aberden v Rangers to kick off

    Scottish fixtures announced

    So the main headlines are:

    • Champions Celtic open against newly-promoted Livingston on 4 August
    • Steven Gerrard's first league game in charge of Rangers will be at Aberdeen on 5 August
    • The first Old Firm derby of the season will be at Celtic Park on 1/2 September
    • The first Edinburgh derby of the season - at Tynecastle - is scheduled for 31 October
    • Last season's Championship winners St Mirren - now with Alan Stubbs in charge - open against Dundee
    • Hamilton v Hearts, Hibernian v Motherwell and Kilmarnock v St Johnstone also on opening day