HomeTeams - OtherCelticCeltic vs Kilmarnock and Rangers vs Hearts: Scottish Premiership Season Kickoff

Celtic vs Kilmarnock and Rangers vs Hearts: Scottish Premiership Season Kickoff

Scottish Premiership Kicks Off with Exciting Matchups

Celtic Begin Title Defence Against Kilmarnock

Celtic will commence their defence of the Scottish Premiership title at home against Kilmarnock on Sunday, 4 August. This match promises to set the tone for Celtic’s campaign as they aim to retain their crown.

Rangers Visit Hearts in Season Opener

The previous season’s runners-up, Rangers, will face off against Heart of Midlothian in the first televised match of the top-flight season. Scheduled for Saturday, 3 August at 12:30 BST at Tynecastle Park, this clash will be the curtain-raiser for what is expected to be a thrilling season.

On the same day, Dundee United, returning to the Premiership after winning the Championship, will host their city rivals Dundee in what promises to be a fiercely contested derby on Sunday, 4 August.

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Impact of Ibrox Stadium Works on Rangers’ Fixtures

Rangers are grappling with logistical challenges as work on the Copland Stand at Ibrox has been delayed due to a materials shipment from Asia. This issue could affect their home fixtures, starting with Motherwell’s visit a week later. Discussions are ongoing between the SPFL and Rangers to determine whether matches will need to be relocated.

Meanwhile, Celtic will visit Edinburgh to face Hibernian on Sunday, 11 August, adding to the season’s early excitement.

Key Dates and Fixtures for the Season

The Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) fixtures for the 2024-25 season have been released, offering fans a glimpse of the season ahead. Notably, the first Old Firm derby between Celtic and Rangers is scheduled for Saturday, 31 August at Celtic Park, although the date might be adjusted for live television coverage.

Opening Weekend: A Three-Day Spectacle

The Premiership’s opening weekend will span three days, with most matches featuring non-traditional kick-off times. Motherwell will host Ross County at the usual Saturday 15:00 kick-off, but the Dundee derby will be televised on Sunday at 13:30, followed by Celtic’s match against Kilmarnock at 16:30.

St Mirren, due to their Europa Conference League commitments, will play Hibernian on Sunday at 15:00. Aberdeen’s new manager Jimmy Thelin will debut against St Johnstone on Monday, 5 August at 20:00.

New Year Clash and Derby Highlights

Celtic and Rangers are expected to battle for the title once again, with their traditional New Year fixture scheduled for Thursday, 2 January at Ibrox. Their third encounter will occur at Celtic Park on the weekend of 15 March, with a potential fourth match following the Premiership split into two sections in April.

The Edinburgh derby between Hearts and Hibs is set for the weekend of 26 October at Easter Road, with the return fixture at Tynecastle on Boxing Day, 12:30 GMT, ensuring a festive football treat for fans.

No Winter Break Due to European Commitments

This season, the Premiership will forego a winter break due to the expanded UEFA club competitions. The new league phases of the Champions League and Europa League will run until the end of January, adding pressure to the domestic schedule and eliminating the traditional mid-season hiatus.

Lower Leagues and Live Coverage

The action in Scotland’s four football leagues kicks off on the weekend of 3 August, with the lower leagues concluding two weeks earlier than the Premiership to accommodate the play-offs.

BBC Scotland will begin its live Championship coverage on Friday, 2 August with League 1 champions Falkirk hosting Queen’s Park. Relegated Livingston will start their second-tier campaign against Dunfermline Athletic the following day, while Airdrieonians will face Ayr United on Friday, 9 August.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle will begin their League 1 journey at home to Dumbarton on Saturday, 3 August, with League 2 champions Stenhousemuir hosting Arbroath. On the same day, Edinburgh City will meet Stirling Albion, marking the start of a new chapter for both clubs.

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