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THE SPFL are facing a postsplit fixture headache if the top six remains as is.

Rangers will have played all five of their rivals in the top half of the Premiership twice at Ibrox this season.

But Graeme Murty's side will be due two home games after the split, which could force two teams to make a third trip to Govan.

The SPFL almost certainly won't have an imbalance in the Old Firm derby meetings Turn to Page 51 From Back Page while Aberdeen would be outraged at the prospect of another Gers away game as they battle for second place.

As it stands that would leave Hearts, Kilmarnock and Hibs facing the prospect of a third Ibrox clash with the latter two the lowest ranked based on their final position last season.

Former Rangers boss Walter Smith hit out at the SPL in 2010, claiming the club had suffered a decade of unfair treatment when it came to post-split fixtures.

On seven occasions in the first 10 years of the format Gers played a top-six club away from home three times and only once at home, although in two of those seasons it was balanced out with three home games against another side.

In a Q&A at the start of this season SPFL secretary Iain Blair said: "I have been doing this job for almost 19 years and unfortunately there is no such thing as a perfect fixture list.

"Our aim is to produce the best and most balanced set of fixtures.

"The most important thing is to try to ensure clubs finish the season having played 19 games at home and 19 away. Unfortunately to facilitate this some clubs will need to gain one home game and some will need to lose one to ensure balance."

Rangers are nine points off Celtic after Josh Windass's hat-trick helped secure a 5-3 win at Hamilton on Sunday.

He buried Jamie Murphy's flick for his second after Gers built from the back and Murty told Rangers TV: "It's as good a goal as I have seen - just a team goal and the quality of it was breathtaking."



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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Feb 21, 2018
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