It is now raining in Aberdeen. Good news for football, bad news for anyone in the area thinking summer had begun.
Neil McCann has arrived …
Some Ianis Hagi to get the tastebuds tingling …
Alfredo Morelos starts for Rangers today. The striker has been linked with a move away from Ibrox, with Lille supposedly leading the chase, but Steven Gerrard says he is a long way from departing.
“I think this will work itself out if there is a bid that’s big enough, that the board want to accept, we’ll make that decision when it comes,” Gerrard said. “At the moment we’re nowhere near that so Alfredo is still a Rangers player. He needs to focus on that and continue contributing goals like he always has done for the last two years.”
Get in the mood for the new season with Ewan Murray …
Aberdeen: Lewis, Hernandez, Taylor, McKenna, Considine, Ojo, Ferguson, Bryson, Hayes, Kennedy, Anderson
Subs: Cerny, Logan, Hoban, Campbell, McGeouch, McLennan, Hedges, McGinn, Edmonson
Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Barisic, Kamara, Jack, Aribo, Hagi, Kent, Morelos
Subs: McLaughlin, Bassey, Edmundson, Helander, Murphy, Patterson, Barker, Stewart, Arfield
Scottish football is back! It seems to have creeped up on us after five months without a ball being kicked in anger north of the border.
Has much changed? Not really. Celtic will almost certainly win the league and Rangers will battle against themselves for second place. It is the hope that kills you, so we might as well accept the situation now.
Aberdeen finished fourth last time around, so will be hoping to go one better this season. It’s good to have an aim. Derek McInnes has signed Jonny Hayes and Ryan Edmondson to boost their charge for third and they could make their debuts in the sweltering 18C heat at Pittodrie.
Steven Gerrard has secured the services of Ianis Hagi on a permanent basis, which is pretty exciting for Rangers fans. The Romanian has the quality to turn games in an instant, something that could at least help close the gap with Celtic. The arrival of experienced Nigeria international Leon Balogun, should also be a great boost, having impressed on loan at Wigan last season.
In more galling news, there will be five substitutions available to the managers this season in Scotland. Considering last season was shutdown prematurely, these players should be pretty rested but still the absurdity will be allowed. How tedious.
To the fitba!
Kick-off: 12.30pm BST