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Page last updated at 08:00 GMT, Thursday, 17 June 2010 09:00 UK

Champions Rangers host Kilmarnock in opener

Rangers celebrate their Scottish title win
Rangers retained the Scottish Premier League title last season

Champions Rangers host Kilmarnock while runners-up Celtic travel to take on promoted Inverness as the Scottish Premier League kicks off in August.

Third-top Dundee United travel to face St Mirren, Motherwell host Hibernian, Hearts are at home to St Johnstone and Hamilton Accies visit Aberdeen.

Celtic are at home for the Old Firm derbies on 23 October and 19 February, with Rangers at home on New Year's Day.

The opening fixtures take place on Saturday 14 August.

United are involved in the first two Sunday fixtures, when they host Inverness Caley Thistle on 22 August and travel to Tynecastle to face Hearts a week later.

It will be a great occasion against Celtic and hopefully we can get off to a good start

Inverness Caledonian Thistle assistant manager Maurice Malpas

As is traditional, the fixture list, released by the Scottish Premier League on Thursday, hands the reigning champions a start to the campaign in front of their own fans.

After Rangers unfurl the league flag prior to the game against Kilmarnock, who have yet to name a manager to succeed Jimmy Calderwood, the Glasgow side travel to Edinburgh to face Hibs.

St Johnstone then provide the opposition at Ibrox on 28 August.

Rangers' Glasgow rivals, Celtic, are the first opponents for Caledonian Thistle on their return to the top flight, when Terry Butcher's side will unfurl the Division One championship flag.

Inverness assistant manager Maurice Malpas was philosophical about being handed a difficult start to the season.

"First and foremost, we are delighted to be back in the SPL," he told BBC Scotland.

"We were complaining last season that we were no longer there, so it would be churlish to complain about having such a tough game to start.

Inverness defender Grant Munro and SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster launch the fixtures
Inverness defender Grant Munro (left) is looking forward to the kick-off

"All the opening games are tough when you first come up and this is one that we won't need to motivate the players for.

"The fans will be looking forward to it, it will be a great occasion and hopefully we can get off to a good start."

Inverness defender Grant Munro knows that manager Terry Butcher will be looking for a winning start no matter the opposition.

"It's an exciting opening day fixture and the unfurling of our First Division championship flag will make the occasion even greater," he said.

"Opening day games are usually nail-biting affairs and against such good opposition as Celtic the stage is set for a thriller as we bid to rack up our first points.

"The unveiling of the fixtures has our lads buzzing as it really brings it home that we're back in the top flight - and I'm sure our fans will get the same buzz."

Danny Lennon also faces a tough first competitive test as the new St Mirren manager, with his team hosting a United side who lost just twice away last season as they finished third in the SPL table and won the Scottish Cup.

Hibs are away to Motherwell - the team they pipped for fourth spot by a single point last season.

However, the Easter Road side host the first Edinburgh derby of the season on 6 November, with Hearts hosting the New Year's Day fixture before Hibs are at home for the third meeting on 2 April.

There will only be a fourth derby if both sides end up in the same half of the table when the league slits on 16 April for the final five matches of the season.

Kilmarnock also provide the opposition for Rangers at Ibrox in the final round of fixtures before the split, when Celtic are away to St Johnstone.

Clydesdale Bank Premier League fixtures

Saturday, 14 August

Aberdeen v Hamilton
Hearts v St Johnstone
Inverness CT v Celtic
Motherwell v Hibernian
Rangers v Kilmarnock
St Mirren v Dundee Utd

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Celtic v St Mirren
Hamilton v Hearts
Hibernian v Rangers
Kilmarnock v Motherwell
St Johnstone v Aberdeen

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Dundee Utd v Inverness CT

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Aberdeen v Kilmarnock
Inverness CT v Hamilton
Motherwell v Celtic
Rangers v St Johnstone
St Mirren v Hibernian

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Hearts v Dundee Utd

NB All fixtures and kick-off times are subject to change. The BBC is not responsible for any changes that may be made.

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see also
Bairns meet Pars on opening day
17 Jun 10 |  Scottish League
Livingston kick off against Alloa
17 Jun 10 |  Scottish League
Clyde open at home to Stranraer
17 Jun 10 |  Scottish League
Chelsea face West Brom in opener
17 Jun 10 |  Premier League
Old Firm New Year derby to remain
16 Jun 10 |  Scottish Premier
Two draws pair Pars and Arbroath
28 May 10 |  Scottish Cups
Ups and downs
10 Jun 10 |  Football
Ayr down, Stirling secure title
01 May 10 |  Scottish League
Barr tips Falkirk to bounce back
12 May 10 |  Falkirk
Jefferies keen to scrap SPL split
15 Apr 10 |  Hearts
Rangers call for end of SPL split
13 Apr 10 |  Rangers
SPL clubs would not ditch split
14 Apr 10 |  Scottish Premier

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