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Thursday 23rd July 2015

Petrofac Training Cup - four to watch

The 2015/16 SPFL season gets under way on Saturday, with 16 ties in the first round of the Petrofac Training Cup.

The 2015/16 SPFL season gets under way on Saturday, with 16 ties in the first round of the Petrofac Training Cup.

Highland League winners Brora Rangers and Lowland League champions Edinburgh City join the 30 clubs in the Ladbrokes Championship, League 1 and League 2.

We’ve highlighted four games to look out for as the big kick-off nears:

Hibernian v Rangers
The Ladbrokes Championship rivals go head to head at Easter Road in a fascinating encounter that is live on BBC ALBA, kick-off 12.30pm. Rangers knocked the Edinburgh club out at the same stage last year - 2-1 after extra time at Ibrox - but fell to Alloa in the semi-finals. New boss Mark Warburton's signings include Danny Wilson from Hearts and Wigan trio Rob Kiernan, Martyn Waghorn and James Tavernier while Hibs manager Alan Stubbs has added a number of new faces, among them James Keatings (Hearts) and Marvin Bartley (Leyton Orient).

St Mirren v Berwick Rangers
St Mirren, who won the trophy in 2005/06, hosted the first-round draw and will be strong favourites to be in the hat for Monday afternoon's second-round draw at Hampden. New boss Ian Murray (pictured) moved from Dumbarton during the summer and Sons midfielder Scott Agnew was his first signing. Berwick endured a disappointing 2014/15 campaign in League 2 but reached the Scottish Cup quarter-finals and gaffer Colin Cameron has been busy in the transfer market.

Livingston v Clyde
Livingston lifted the trophy for the first time with an impressive 4-0 win over Alloa at McDiarmid Park in April and went on to retain their Championship status with an excellent run of results. Livi boss Mark Burchill has made a number of new signings - including Kieran Gibbons from Aberdeen and Alloa pair Ben Gordon and Liam Buchanan. Barry Ferguson's Clyde are the bookies' favourites for the Ladbrokes League 2 title and will be out to cause an upset after bringing in nine new players during the summer.

Cowdenbeath v Raith Rovers
The regional nature of the draw threw up a number of local derbies, including this all-Fife affair at Central Park. Cowdenbeath are preparing for life in Ladbrokes League 1 following relegation from the Championship and have a new manager in Colin Nish. Raith Rovers, who beat Rangers at Easter Road to get their hands on the silverware in 2013/14, also have a new man in the dug-out in the shape of ex-Brechin City boss Ray McKinnon.