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CELTIC KICK OFF AGAINST HIGHLANDERS

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CELTIC will kick off the defence of their Premiership title against Ross County at Parkhead on the opening day of the 2015/16 season. The Hoops will unveil their fourth successive championship flag on Saturday, August 1.
In the first meeting of the clubs last season in Dingwall on October 18, Ronny Deila’s side raced to a 5-0 victory. However, County managed to get a goalless draw in Glasgow in the return game in December. In the third and last meeting a month later a goal from Kris Commons gave the visitors a 1-0 triumph.

Aberdeen, who ran the champions close until slipping off the pace in the final weeks, will begin with a trip to Dundee United while Scottish Cup holders Inverness Caley Thistle entertain Motherwell, who preserved their top-flight status with a play-off victory over Rangers.

Robbie Neilson’s Hearts, who strolled to the Championship title last season, face St Johnstone at Tynecastle as they return to the Premiership following a season in the second tier.

Hamilton boss Martin Canning kicks off his first full season in charge at New Douglas Park with a home match against Partick Thistle and day one is completed with Dundee travelling to face Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster believes the season ahead will bring plenty of drama up and down the divisions.

He said: “We’ve got a whole host of exciting fixtures on the opening weekend and we have all four champions at home on the opening weekend. We’ve certainly got Glasgow and Edinburgh derbies this year; we’ve got Celtic travelling to Hearts on Boxing Day and on that same day we have Hibs travelling through to face Rangers at Ibrox. I think there will be some real tension and excitement this season.

“We saw last year that there was a lot more tension and drama than people thought there might be. Aberdeen pushed Celtic close at the top of the Premiership and there was huge drama at the bottom with the new play-off system. I would expect there to be lots of twists and turns ahead.”

Opening day fixtures (August 1): Celtic v Ross County, Dundee United v Aberdeen, Hamilton v Partick Thistle, Hearts v St Johnstone, Inverness CT v Motherwell, Kilmarnock v Dundee.

 
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