Celtic to launch quest for 10-in-a-row against Hamilton

London (AFP) –


Celtic will kick off their bid for a historic 10th successive Scottish Premiership title at home to Hamilton on August 2 after fixtures were released on Monday.

Neil Lennon's side were crowned champions for the ninth season in a row in May when the campaign was ended prematurely by the coronavirus pandemic.

Steven Gerrard's Rangers will be determined to halt their bitter rivals' reign of domination as they start their season with a trip to face Aberdeen at Pittodrie the previous day.

The fixture list for the new season was released by the Scottish Professional Football League, subject to approval from the Scottish government for the restart of football.

With fans still barred from grounds, the opening Old Firm clash of the season, at Celtic Park, has been scheduled for mid-October.

Lennon hopes there will be crowds in the stands by the time his team welcome Rangers.

"It will be difficult playing without supporters and that's something we'll have to adapt to very quickly," Lennon told Sky Sports.

"We've got to take it as the next title, really. For some of the players who come in, it will be their first. For some, they will be going for their 10th.

"But we've just got to keep a balance and say it's the next challenge. There is going to be a lot of hype surrounding it."

Celtic and Rangers meet for their traditional New Year showdown at Rangers' ground on January 2 -- the 50th anniversary of the Ibrox disaster, in which 66 people lost their lives.

The winter break has been scrapped.