sport

Celtic open against Saints

New Celtic manager Ronny Deila gets his first taste of league action when the champions begin the defence of their Scottish Premiership title with a midweek trip to St Johnstone.

With Celtic Park out of commission due to the Commonwealth Games, Celtic have no match on the scheduled opening day of the season, Saturday, August 9.

Four days later Deila takes his side to McDiarmid Park to face the Scottish Cup holders before returning to Parkhead where former owner Fergus McCann will unfurl the league flag prior to the match against Dundee United on August 16.

Celtic take to the road again to tackle Inverness on the 23rd before completing the opening month of the campaign with another away game, against newly-promoted Dundee at Dens Park.

After a two-week break for the European Championship qualifiers, Celtic have two home games against Aberdeen and Motherwell (September 13 and 20) before ending the month with a short trip to Paisley to face Tommy Craig's St Mirren.

Over the holiday period, the champions travel to Tannadice to face Dundee United on December 20, entertain Ross County on December 27 before the second Glasgow derby of the season against Partick Thistle at Firhill on New Year's Day.

Prior to the end-of-season split, it's a third meeting of the season against Alan Archibald's Thistle at Parkhead on April 8 with a trip to Inverness bringing the curtain down on the first part of the campaign three days later.

Opening three games:

August 13 - St Jonhstone (a)August 16 - Dundee United (h)August 23 - Inverness (a)