St Johnstone And Hibs Lose Out
Some season you get the extra home game and some you don't. HIbs and St Johnstone take their turn to only have 18 home games this season
The announcement of the post split SPL fixtures brings with it the injustices of some team losing out on a home game compared to their rivals. St Johnstone were the main losers in the top six while Hibs lose out in the bottom six. The Perth side will play 18 home games and 20 away this season. Killie gain out of dropping out of the top six by gaining an extra game at Rugby Park. St Johnstone will play Motherwell, rivals for a European place, and Celtic away for a third time, but will have Rangers and Dundee United visiting for a third time this season. SPL secretary Iain Blair said it was "simply impossible" to ensure 19 home games for all clubs this season.
He said: "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." Hibs will travel to Inverness for a third time on the final day having won there for the second time this season on Saturday. The Old Firm will meet at Parkhead on 29 April, giving Celtic two games to secure the point they need to clinch the SPL title before welcoming Rangers. Celtic have the chance to win the title at Kilmarnock on Saturday and then face Motherwell at Fir Park on 22 April. The battle for the second Champions League spot could go to the wire with Motherwell playing Dundee United at Fir Park on the final day of the season, although St Johnstone are level with their Tayside rivals, five points behind the Steelmen. The biggest game in the bottom six takes place in the penultimate round of fixtures when Hibs welcome Dunfermline at Easter Road on Monday, 7 May. Hibs are currently six points ahead of the bottom club. The fixtures computations have also thrown up a Thursday night encounter with Celtic hosting St Johnstone on May 3 - 24 hours after Rangers play Dundee United at Ibrox. 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."
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