Scottish Premiership: What did Rangers, Celtic and top-flight teams do over the break?
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By Allan Valente
Last Updated: 21/01/20 5:06pm
The Scottish Premiership is set to resume on Wednesday following the winter break in Scotland – but what did each club do over the period?
There is a full midweek fixture card in the Scottish top-flight on Wednesday as league action gets under way again following the fourth round of the Scottish Cup over the weekend after the winter break.
Some clubs headed for sunnier climes, while others opted to stay at home to prepare for an intriguing second half of the season as the race for the title, European spots and the bid to avoid relegation gets set to heat up again.
Aberdeen - Dubai
Derek McInnes took his side out to the United Arab Emirates, with the trip culminating in a 1-0 defeat to Al-Wehdat SC of Jordan in a friendly.
The Aberdeen boss said after that match that he was pleased with his side's fitness, saying they had "worked extremely hard" having undertaken double training sessions on most days of their trip.
That should serve them well for the second half of the season as they resume Premiership action against third-placed Motherwell.
Celtic - Dubai
Some players had already flown out to the UAE for a holiday after their Old Firm defeat to Rangers on December 29 and were met by the rest of the squad on January 4.
Celtic travelled to Dubai for warm-weather training for the fourth year in succession, with Callum McGregor insisting the "intense" camp helped the players to re-focus after a disappointing end to the first half of the campaign.
They pick up their league season with a trip to Kilmarnock, where Rangers came unstuck following the resumption of action this time last year.
Hamilton - Largs
Brian Rice's team ended the decade in the best way possible with a 2-1 win over Motherwell in the North Lanarkshire derby and they decided to hone their fitness over the break with a short trip to Largs in North Ayrshire.
They face a tough trip to Hibernian as they get back to league action and they will hope their time in Largs will help as they aim to move out of the Premiership play-off spot.
Hearts - Home
Daniel Stendel took one point from his opening five games as Hearts boss but his side stayed in Edinburgh over the break as he looks to re-shape his team.
Glenn Whelan has departed, while captain Christophe Berra has been told he has no future at the club as Stendel looks to make up a five-point gap to Hamilton at the bottom of the league.
They travel to Dingwall to play Ross County on Wednesday.
Hibernian - Spain
Hibs finished the first half of the season in the top six following the appointment of Jack Ross in November and they travelled to the Costa del Sol for five days over the break to undertake preparations for the rest of the campaign.
They beat Willem II 2-1 in a friendly, with Oli Shaw scoring a double, as Ross aimed to build his team's fitness and match sharpness over the shutdown before they host Hamilton this week.
Kilmarnock - Home
There was no travelling for Kilmarnock over the winter break as they elected to stay at home to re-focus ahead of their opening Premiership match of 2020 at home to Celtic.
Alex Dyer lost his three matches in interim charge by 1-0 but was appointed as manager until the end of the season after Angelo Alessio was sacked and he will be hoping for a positive league result to kick off the New Year.
Livingston - Spain
Livingston decided to swap West Lothian for La Manga in January as they look to build on another impressive start to the Premiership season.
Their break saw them draw 1-1 with Anderlecht and lose 3-1 to Ajax Jong, the Dutch side's B team, in two friendlies as Gary Holt's side host St Johnstone this midweek.
Motherwell - Spain
For the third successive year Motherwell decided to undertake a warm-weather training camp in Tenerife over the winter break, with Stephen Robinson putting his players through double training sessions.
Motherwell are third in the Premiership and face fourth-placed Aberdeen on Wednesday as they look to continue their bid for European football.
Rangers - Dubai
Steven Gerrard's side finished 2019 with their first win at Celtic Park in nearly 10 years on December 29 and headed out to the same Nad Al Sheba complex their Old Firm rivals were using in Dubai.
Double-sessions in the heat were then followed by a 6-1 win over Lokomotiv Tashkent of Uzbekistan, after which Gerrard warned some players had drifted further out of his plans.
Rangers beat Celtic 1-0 at Ibrox before the break last season but stumbled to a 2-1 defeat to Kilmarnock upon their return to Premiership action. They host St Mirren on Wednesday where Gerrard will demand his side continue their league momentum this time around.
Ross County - Home
The Staggies only managed one point from three games before the winter break but opted to stay at home over the shutdown as they plot a return to the top six.
They started the season well but a run of nine games without a win saw them slip down the table. They went into the break in eighth spot in the Premiership, just three points above Hamilton in the relegation play-off position, but are among a number of clubs who could still challenge for a top-half finish if they can hit the ground running after the break. They host Hearts on Wednesday.
St. Johnstone - Home
Tommy Wright's side also elected to remain at home over the break as they look to build on a run of five games without defeat going into the shutdown.
The Saints have turned things around after a poor start to the season and they decided to remain in Scotland to work on fitness and tactics ahead of the resumption of league duty.
They travel to Livi on Wednesday looking to move just two points behind their next opponents, who are fifth having played two games more.
St. Mirren - Home
The Buddies also remained in Scotland over the break ahead of their return to league action with a trip to Rangers.
Jim Goodwin's side are one point above Hamilton in the play-off spot but will be buoyed going into 2020 having already secured the signings of Akin Famewo, Conor McCarthy and Jamie McGrath in the transfer window.