Celtic, Rangers could meet with Premiership title at stake in Old Firm derby
Celtic could potentially face Rangers with the Premiership title on the line for the first time in nearly 20 years as the final Old Firm derby of the season has been scheduled for April 29, the second week of the post-split fixtures.
The Scottish Professional Football League has tried to avoid scheduling the final derby of the season on a date in which either club could win the title since 1999, when Rangers won the league at Celtic Park in a game marred by fan violence.
But Celtic could win the title against their rivals at Celtic Park if they do not defeat Hibernian on April 21 and either Rangers or Aberdeen win their games that day.
The Scottish top flight has been split into two phases since 2000-01, with the 12 clubs divided into two halves and playing five additional games — one against each team in their section.
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers said after his side defeated Hamilton Academical on Sunday that “it is a sad indictment of the world that it is here at times” because the two rivals cannot play each other for the league title.
“In probably any other country in the world, they would look to play the game and showcase your football and country on [TV], whether it was Real Madrid vs. Barcelona, Manchester United vs. Manchester City or AC Milan vs. Inter,” Rodgers said.
Celtic, on 75 points and 13 clear of Rangers and Aberdeen, are seeking their seventh consecutive Premiership title.
In a statement, an SPFL spokesperson thanked supporters for their patience in waiting for the announcement of the post-split fixtures.
“Working with the 12 clubs, Police Scotland and our broadcast partners to produce a set of fixtures that meets everyone’s requirements can often be a complex and time-consuming process, but fans can now look forward to an exciting conclusion to the Ladbrokes Premiership campaign,” the spokesperson said.
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