Celtic face Aberdeen on opening day of SPL season

ESPN staff
June 18, 2012
Celtic are strong favourites to land the SPL title © PA Photos

SPL champions Celtic will begin the defence of their title at home to Aberdeen - while the fixture list for the moment contains the mysterious 'Club 12'.

With the SPL yet to vote on the future of Rangers, at least eight member clubs would have to be in favour of admitting the financially stricken club. As the soon to be liquidated Rangers will be considered a new football club their place in the SPL is forfeited and they must wait to see if they can rejoin the division.

If Rangers are not voted into the SPL, then relegated Dunfermline Athletic or First Division runners-up Dundee will take that place with a trip to Kilmarnock awaiting on the opening weekend.

The SPL season begins on August 4, and Celtic are expected to run away with the title without any club able to mount a serious challenge. After the demise of their Glasgow rivals they won the championship by 20 points last term.

Ross County start their first SPL season with a home game against Motherwell, who finished third last season, while managerless Hearts are at home to St Johnstone and St Mirren play host to Inverness. Dundee United are at home to Hibernian the following day.

The first Edinburgh derby of the season will be on August 11 as Hearts head to Hibernian. Should Rangers take their place in the top flight then the first Old Firm game would take place at Parkhead on September 22, with another at Ibrox on Boxing Day.

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