Friday, August 13, 2010

SPL ready for new season kick-off

The Scottish Premier League trophy in Rangers' colours in May
The Scottish Premier League trophy in champions Rangers' colours in May

Inverness Caledonian Thistle mark their return to the Scottish Premier League when they host Neil Lennon's new-look Celtic in Saturday's season opener.

A few hours later, Rangers begin the defence of their title against Kilmarnock at Ibrox.

Aberdeen take on Hamilton, Hearts welcome St Johnstone and Danny Lennon's St Mirren side play Dundee United.

In Sunday's match, Motherwell host Hibernian, both sides having already played Europa League qualifiers.

BBC Scotland's football pundits and journalists are offering their opinions on how the season is likely to take shape.

Chick Young believes Walter Smith can guide Rangers to a third consecutive title but only if the Ibrox side can avoid injury and suspensions. If not, it's Neil Lennon and Celtic who will be celebrating next May, he suggests.


The SPL - reasons to be cheerful?

Alasdair Lamont contends that Rangers need more attacking options if Smith is to head into retirement with another title under his belt.

Pat Nevin believes Morten Rasmussen is the striker Lennon should call upon to deliver the goals in this campaign, but the former Scotland winger reserves his greatest praise for Hibernian's Derek Riordan.

Colin Moffat argues that at the other end of the table, the football may not be easy on the eye but it will not be lacking in excitement.

There is a great chance to re-live some great goals from last season with Jonathan Sutherland's guide to the top three goals by each team in the 2009/10 campaign.

Meanwhile, Radio Scotland's Open All Mics commentator Allan Preston has boldy predicted the scores in the opening round of SPL fixtures.

If you would like to do likewise and challenge your friends across the season, sign up at The Predictor for a bit of fun.

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