SPFL weekend preview: relegation fight steps up pre-split

By Calum Woodger

Approaching the season end, with Celtic having wrapped up the league title in unparalleled fashion, Scotland’s top tier is set to enter its unfashionable split.

The Premiership 12 will be halved into two sixes as Aberdeen and Rangers battle for second spot and St. Johnstone push for Europe at the top.

These teams are the league’s royalty, but it is an entirely different story for the relative paupers battling relegation to the Championship at the bottom.

Inverness, Motherwell, Hamilton, Dundee, Ross County and Kilmarnock are all still in grave danger of the drop and will battle it out against each other for their top-flight status.

All this drama is set to ensue in the coming weeks, but not before one more intriguing round of SPFL fixtures this weekend.

Killie and Hearts kick off on Friday night in Ayrshire, the Rugby Park side have a chance to all but secure their safety with three points over a stuttering Gorgie side.

Saturday sees two relegation tussles as rivals Dundee play Hamilton in the city of discovery and Inverness travel south to take on Motherwell.

Paul Hartley’s Dundee are sliding down a slippery slope with no points in their last six matches stretching back to February. Hamilton on the other hand will have a spring in their step following three matches unbeaten in April.

Caley Thistle are floundering in the automatic relegation spot with one win in their last 21 league ties. They need to win against second-bottom Motherwell to have any chance of staying up.

On the back of their 3-0 win up in Aberdeen, Rangers welcome Partick Thistle to Ibrox. The Jags are in fine form hemselves unbeaten in their last five having secured the club’s highest finish since 1981.

Saturday’s other fixture sees second face fourth as Aberdeen travel to Perth to face St. Johnstone.

Champions Celtic will wrap up the weekend’s action on Sunday lunchtime when they take on a struggling Ross County in Dingwall.

Full fixture card: Kilmarnock v Hearts, Dundee v Hamilton Accies, Motherwell v Inverness, Rangers v Partick, St. Johnstone v Aberdeen, Ross County v Celtic.

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