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Page last updated at 09:01 GMT, Monday, 16 June 2008 10:01 UK

Celtic to open against St Mirren

Celtic celebrate winning the SPL title last season
Celtic celebrate winning last year's SPL title

Celtic open up their Scottish Premier League defence with a home game against Gus MacPherson's St Mirren.

Walter Smith's Rangers side start with a tough away fixture against Falkirk, with the first Old Firm encounter at Celtic Park on 30 August.

Motherwell, who finished third last season, begin with a visit to Hearts. Aberdeen entertain Inverness CT.

Promoted side Hamilton start the season at home to Dundee United and Kilmarnock take on Hibernian at Rugby Park.

The following Saturday, Gordon Strachan takes his Celtic side to Tannadice to face Dundee United.

Hibs will also entertain Falkirk on Saturday 16 August and Inverness take on Hamilton.

Motherwell face Aberdeen at Fir Park, Rangers entertain Hearts and St Mirren host Kilmarnock.

The first Edinburgh derby of the new season will take place on 18 October at Easter Road.

The Rangers Supporters' Assembly expressed disappointment at the fixture list.

Assembly president Jim Templeton said it was unfair that Rangers must play three of their first four matches away from home.

He also criticised the SPL for squeezing Rangers' second Champions League qualifying match between trips to Pittodrie and Celtic Park.

Aberdeen managing director Duncan Fraser thought the fixtures were more consistent for the coming season.

"From an Aberdeen perspective, the fixtures are far more balanced than they have been in recent seasons and it would certainly appear that our strenuous pleas to the league for a reduction in the level of back-to-back home and away games have been heeded," he said.


"This makes it substantially easier from a supporter's perspective in terms of budgeting.

"It's something we've been very vociferous about and well done to the league for taking that on board."

SPL secretary Iain Blair said it was happy with the fixture list for the forthcoming season.

"It's very easy to pick out little two or three game runs and be really unhappy about that for your particular club," he said.

"I know I do it for my own club, but our objective is to find the best balance over all 12 clubs over the entire season and I think we've done that."

Opening weekend fixtures - Saturday 9 August
Aberdeen v Inverness CT
Falkirk v Rangers
Hearts v Motherwell
Kilmarnock v Hibs
Sunday 10 August
Celtic v St Mirren
Monday 11 August
Hamilton v Dundee Utd

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see also
Scottish club-by-club fixtures
17 Jun 09 |  Football
Ross County start against Dundee
16 Jun 08 |  Scottish League
Man Utd open up against Newcastle
16 Jun 08 |  Premier League

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