There is nothing bigger in Scottish football than an Old Firm derby and Brendan Rodgers and Celtic will hope to start their campaign off right at Ibrox against Rangers.
However, the premier league is far from being dominated by just two clubs and there are plenty of exciting fixtures that should not be ignored.
1. St Mirren Hearts vs Celtic
Rangers return from midweek’s disappointing loss against QPR by hosting St Mirren in a difficult test that they should easily meet under Michael Beale. Expect his side to respond and emerge victorious once more!
Celtic are still without their first win since the split after Ange Postecoglou’s team were held to a 1-1 draw with Hibernian on Friday – their form deterioration becoming increasingly worrying as their gap from second place widens to seven points.
VAR experienced its debut in Edinburgh and caused two controversial decisions, the first coming in the second minute of stoppage time when referee Nick Walsh needed to consult his video assistant about whether Cammy Devlin had possession when tackled by Moritz Jenz; Walsh awarded a penalty kick and Lawrence Shankland scored. Prior to that James Forrest and Josh Maeda both had efforts ruled off for offside play in an otherwise exciting contest.
2. Kilmarnock vs Aberdeen
Last time these teams met at Rugby Park, Celtic emerged victorious 4-2 thanks to Lawrence Shankland’s hat-trick. Both are still looking to gain entry to European competition; thus a win here would be especially significant for either.
St Mirren have fallen well off the pace in their pursuit of fifth, but a win here could provide them with the psychological edge heading into next season. Their odds of ending on a high note stand at around 6/1; heartened by their win against Hearts earlier in midweek will only bolster that optimism further.
Derek McInnes’ team have been handed an unenviable quarter-final draw and will host Old Firm derby Rangers next Thursday, having knocked off Motherwell to return to this stage of competition. Tune into Sky Sports Football from 7.30pm for live coverage!
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3. Livingston vs Aberdeen
On Tuesday night, it will be another important outing for the Dons as they travel to West Lothian for their match with Livi. With Gio van Bronckhorst having three of his key players unavailable – Filip Helander, Leon King and James Sands all out – Gio van Bronckhorst will hope that his efforts can turn around his poor road record this season against David Martindale’s side.
The Scottish Premiership takes a break for the World Cup, returning on December 17 following its final in Qatar. Lee Johnson will experience his inaugural Edinburgh derby as Hibernian manager when Hearts visit Easter Road during weekend two. Rangers and Celtic will then face each other twice that same night in double header matches shown live on Sky Sports.
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4. Hibs vs Aberdeen
Due to teams involved in this weekend’s Viaplay Cup semi-finals, several crucial Premiership fixtures had to be postponed or cancelled by the SPFL. Celtic were victorious over Motherwell 4-0 to qualify, Kilmarnock defeated Dundee United 2-1 while Aberdeen triumphed 4-1 over Partick Thistle at Pittodrie.
David Gray marked his final outing as Hibs interim manager with an energetic performance and impressive victory against Aberdeen, extending their winning streak to seven matches and guaranteeing that Hearts would not catch them up for third place in the standings.
Aberdeen will hope Pape Habib Gueye and on-loan Liverpool centre-back Rhys Williams can take part in their opening Old Firm match of the season on Sunday against Celtic at Hampden – both matches will be shown live by Premier Sports. Derek McInnes must improve on last season’s fourth place finish by adding more European nights into their schedule; Killie host Aberdeen first before their clash against holders Celtic on Saturday will also be broadcast live by Premier Sports.