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Advantage Aberdeen in race to secure a place in Europe

Aberdeen will have home advantage when they face Motherwell on the final day of the Scottish Premiership season in a match which could decide second spot in the table and a place in the Europa League.

The Pittodrie clash is among the highlights of the post-split fixtures, which were announced yesterday by the Scottish Professional Football League. Dundee United, who are also in the hunt for second spot, face a trip to Celtic Park for the May 11 finale.

The bottom-six teams finish their campaign 24 hours earlier, although one team will see their season extended for a relegation play-off, with no-one looking safe yet.

St Mirren host Hearts, Hibernian play Kilmarnock at Easter Road, and Partick Thistle and Ross County meet at Firhill.

The fourth Edinburgh derby of the season has been scheduled for Easter Road on Sunday, April 27 in the second round of fixtures. Before then Hibs travel to St Mirren Park to take on the team currently occupying the play-off spot, ahead of the final round of pre-split fixtures. But Terry Butcher's men, who are six points ahead of the Paisley side, are arguably the biggest winners of the fixture anomalies.

Hibs have been handed an extra home game while Aberdeen lose out. The Dons were due three home games but only have two.

The SPFL draws up the original fixtures based on its pre-season prediction of who will make the top six, but the reality rarely meets expectations.

Other irregularities include Motherwell visiting fellow European hopefuls Dundee United for a third time, although the Fir Park club knew there would be an imbalance somewhere.

St Johnstone are handed a third trip to Aberdeen but manager Tommy Wright was "happy enough". He told the club's website: "We always thought we would get two home games out of Celtic, Aberdeen and Dundee United, so to have the newly crowned champions and another Tayside derby is good.

"It means two lengthy trips for the fans to Aberdeen and Inverness, but I'm sure they'll back us."

Inverness face a third trip to Celtic Park, which will take place on Sunday, April 27 as League One champions Rangers are at home on the Saturday.

Hearts, who face the prospect of running out of cash before the end of the season if Lithuanian creditors cannot agree a deal to allow them to come out of administration, have three post-split home games to look forward to.

SPFL Premiership Post-split fixtures 2013/14

TOP 6

Round 34

Fri Apr 18 Inverness CT v Aberdeen (BT Sport, 7.45)

Sat Apr 19 Motherwell v Celtic (Sky Sports, 12.45)

Sat Apr 19 St Johnstone v Dundee United (3pm)

Round 35

Sat Apr 26 Aberdeen v St Johnstone (3pm)

Sat Apr 26 Dundee United v Motherwell (3pm)

Sun Apr 27 Celtic v Inverness CT (3pm)

Round 36

Sat May 3 Celtic v Aberdeen (3pm)

Sat May 3 Inverness CT v Dundee United (3pm)

Sat May 3 Motherwell v St Johnstone (3pm)

Round 37

Tue May 6 Dundee United v Aberdeen (Sky Sports, 7.45)

Wed May 7 Motherwell v Inverness CT (7.45)

Wed May 7 St Johnstone v Celtic (BT Sport, 7.45)

Round 38

Sun May 11 Aberdeen v Motherwell (BT Sport, 12.15)

Sun May 11 Celtic v Dundee United (Sky Sports, 12.15)

Sun May 11 Inverness CT v St Johnstone (12.15)

bottom 6

Round 34

Sat Apr 19 Hearts v Ross County (3pm)

Sat Apr 19 Kilmarnock v Partick Thistle (3pm)

Sat Apr 19 St Mirren v Hibernian (3pm)

Round 35

Fri Apr 25 Partick Thistle v St Mirren (BBC ALBA, 7.45)

Sat Apr 26 Ross County v Kilmarnock (3pm)

Sun Apr 27 Hibernian v Hearts (BT Sport, 12.45)

Round 36

Sat May 3 Hibernian v Partick Thistle (3pm)

Sat May 3 St Mirren v Ross County (3pm)

Sun May 4 Hearts v Kilmarnock (3pm)

Round 37

Wed May 7 Hearts v Partick Thistle (7.45)

Wed May 7 Kilmarnock v St Mirren (7.45)

Wed May 7 Ross County v Hibernian (7.45)

Round 38

Sat May 10 Hibernian v Kilmarnock (12.15)

Sat May 10 Partick Thistle v Ross County (12.15)

Sat May 10 St Mirren v Hearts (BT Sport, 12.15)

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