The SPFL today announced the post-split fixtures in the Ladbrokes Premiership. Here are the five most intriguing encounters between the split and the end of the season.
28/04 - Ross County v Inverness CT - 7.45pm ko (BT Sport)
One of two remaining Friday night fixture of the season sees the local rivals go head to head in the relegation group.
It’s a welcomed return to our screens for a game which used to be a regular fixture on the TV schedule when Rangers were rising up through the lower leagues. Unlike the Edinburgh derby, which, unless blocked by Uefa, always seems to screened live, the games between the Highland duo tend to be entertaining affairs.
There’s the added incentive of the relegation battle to go along with it. Jim McIntyre’s side could push further distance between themselves and the relegation play-off place, while simultaneously sinking Richie Foran and his men further into the mire. County will also be bidding to go the entire season undefeated against Caley Thistle.
29/04 - Rangers v Celtic - Noon ko (Sky Sports)
In most instances this game wouldn’t appear on the list. It’s a dead rubber match and will be the sixth (SIXTH!) encounter between them this season. However, if Celtic are going to go the whole season undefeated then they’ll need
safe passage through treacherous terrain in trips to Ibrox and Pittodrie.
Nobody will be wanting to stop Celtic more than Rangers, who are currently the last Scottish club to go the entire season undefeated (albeit, in an 18-game league).
07/05 - Hearts v Aberdeen - 3pm
Another fitting choice would have been Hearts’ trip to St Johnstone the following midweek as both sides are battling it out in the race to finish fourth, which would likely represent qualification to the Europa League. However, the way both Hearts and St Johnstone have been playing over recent months, it would be too surprising if that match is another meaningless contest.
Regardless of form, there is no way this game will be meaningless for the home faithful as they say goodbye to the main stand at Tynecastle. With Hearts finishing their season with three consecutive away matches, this is the final game in front of the structure which has stood since 1914.
13/05 - Hamilton v Motherwell - 3pm
The Lanarkshire derby on the penultimate weekend of the season should take on extra significance with the two sides currently sharing the same points total in the Ladbrokes Premiership table. Motherwell are generally regarded as the biggest underachievers of the two this season, though they’ve only won once in their last nine visits to New Douglas Park, where Accies have only lost on four occasions this season.
16/05 - Dundee v Inverness CT - 7.45pm
There are a few relegation battles which could have been selected (Inverness CT v Motherwell on the final day, for example) but the reason we’ve gone for this one is because, as it stands, Dundee will be on track to relegate an opponent at Dens Park for the second season running. Last year it was rivals Dundee United, and while there won’t be the same outpouring of emotion this time around, it will be a massive boost to their own survival hopes if they can secure three points against Richie Foran’s men.