The new Ladbrokes Premiership campaign will soon be upon us, so we figured it’s time for a quick look at how the clubs are preparing for the 2016-17 season.
The Dons are already in competitive action, having won the first leg of their Europa League qualifier against Fola Esch of Luxembourg by a 3-1 margin. They’re back in Luxembourg on Thursday before making their way to Bayview for a north-east clash against East Fife.
Brendan Rodgers’ men have one of the most high-profile pre-season clashes around, as they take on Austrian heavyweights Sturm Graz at the UPC-Arena on Sunday. That’s followed by a pair of games in Slovenia, before their crucial Champions League qualifying round. But will they face Flora Tallinn or Gibraltar’s Lincoln Red Imps?
Paul Hartley’s men are off to Alloa tonight, as the Dees boss returns to the club he led to successive promotions between 2011-13. And he’ll be hoping for the ideal confidence boost against a side who won just five games in all competitions last season.
Heart of Midlothian
The fans have already been back in force at Tynecastle, with a bumper crowd of 14,417 in attendance last night as the Jam Tarts squeezed a 2-1 victory over Estonian outfit Infonet Tallinn in the Europa League. And they face a tricky trip to the Baltics next week, meaning there’s nothing friendly about their pre-season.
The Well are off on a whistle-stop tour of Scotland, with a series of friendlies away at lower-league opposition, including Albion Rovers, Arbroath, and Dumbarton. That should prepare them well for their upcoming League Cup trips to Annan and Stranraer.
The Jags are south of the border right now, having given English Non-League outfit Cirencester Town a 6-0 hiding. Next up is a trip to National League South side Bath City before they finish off with a visit to Morton.
Jim McIntyre’s men have headed to Hungary, where they’re set to face Paksi SE – who finished last season in seventh spot in the Hungarian top-flight – before a fixture against second-tier side Soroksar. And it should be a team-building experience for the Staggies, who have brought in several new faces in the past month.
Tommy Wright will be heading back to familiar territory as the Sainties head to Northern Ireland – the country where he managed for seven years – to face off against Glentoran. Then the visitors become the hosts, as the Perth outfit welcome English League One outfit Bradford City. But they’ll face a tougher test on the opening day of the League Campaign, when Aberdeen rock up at McDiarmid Park.
Meanwhile, the first glimpse we’ll get of the new stars at Hamilton Academical, Inverness CT, Kilmarnock and Rangers will come in the League Cup, with all four sides foregoing friendly matches ahead of the busy new cup schedule.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.