McCoist gets home help

17 June 2011 09:30

Ally McCoist will have home advantage for his first Clydesdale Bank Premier League match in charge of Rangers.

The Light Blues will begin the defence of their title with a home match against Hearts on the opening day of the season - Saturday, July 23.

That means the league's all-time leading goalscorer, who replaces Walter Smith, starts his career as manager at Ibrox.

Runners-up Celtic, who finished a point behind their Old Firm rivals in the SPL last season, also face Edinburgh opponents on the opening day. Hibernian await Neil Lennon's side at Easter Road.

Rangers have home advantage in the first Old Firm derby of the season, on September 17, while the two meet in a festive clash at Parkhead on December 28.

SPL newcomers Dunfermline, who ensured a return to Scottish football's top tier by winning the Irn-Bru Division One title last season, have home advantage on the opening day.

Jim McIntyre's Pars, back in Scottish football's top flight after a four-season absence, start with a home match against St Mirren.

In the other openers, Aberdeen take on St Johnstone at Pittodrie, while Terry Butcher takes his Inverness Caledonian Thistle side to another team he has managed - Motherwell.

Dundee United and Kilmarnock meet in the first round of SPL fixtures - but the clash has already been put back to the following day, Sunday, July 24.

Source: PA