Old Firm clash scheduled for end of April as SPL prepares to split in two

The final Old Firm match of the season will take place on April 29, two games after the Clydesdale Bank Premier League split.

Celtic will host Rangers on the Sunday with a 12.45pm kick-off after playing Motherwell at Fir Park the previous weekend, the SPL confirmed on Tuesday.

Celtic need just a point to clinch the title, and can secure that at Kilmarnock this weekend in the final match before the league splits in two.

April clash: Rangers won the last Old Firm outing

April clash: Rangers won the last Old Firm outing

 

St Johnstone also face a third match at Celtic Park but host Rangers and Dundee United for a third time.

SPL secretary Iain Blair said it was 'simply impossible' to ensure 19 home games for all clubs.

Blair said: 'Various versions of the round 34-38 fixture list are produced and we then select the one that provides the best fit overall. In line with previous seasons, all clubs will finish the season either home/away or away/home.

'We try to achieve as balanced a fixture list as possible. Also, among the things we look at is what has happened in previous years. For example, Kilmarnock had only 18 home games in 2006/07 but will gain a home game this season. St Johnstone are losing a home game but they have gained one in the past.'

Fiery encounter: Three were sent off last time the pair met

Fiery encounter: Three were sent off last time the pair met

 

The fixtures have also thrown up a Thursday night fixture during the midweek round with Celtic hosting St Johnstone on May 3 - 24 hours after Rangers play Dundee United at Ibrox.

'In the regular season, Celtic/Rangers and Hearts/Hibernian always play at home on alternate weekends but, given the many constraints when compiling the post-split fixtures, it is sometimes impossible to avoid a city clash,' Blair said.

'With both Celtic and Rangers at home in the midweek of May 2, it forced us to switch one game to the Thursday. Tuesday was ruled out due to the Old Firm game the previous Sunday.'

Meanwhile, Blair revealed the Old Firm date was chosen following consultation between the clubs, the SPL and the police.

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