Raith Rovers' Betfred Cup fixture dates announced

The Main Stand at Stark's Park.
The Main Stand at Stark's Park.

Raith Rovers will start the season with a home Betfred Cup match against Dundee, the SPFL has confirmed.

The Group D opener against the side relegated from the Premiership will take place at Stark's Park on Saturday, July 13 with a 3.00 p.m kick-off.

It will be the first competitive match in charge for newly-appointed Dens Park manager James McPake, while Rovers will be hoping for a good start to John McGlynn's first full season in charge of his second tenure.

Raith's other group games will see them travel to Scottish Cup semi-finalists Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Saturday, July 20, before welcoming League Two title winners Peterhead to Stark's Park on the following Tuesday, July 23, with a 7.45 p.m kick-off.

Rovers will complete the group with a trip to Cove Rangers, the side newly promoted to the SPFL following their recent pyramid play-off victory over Berwick Rangers, on Saturday, July 27, and who defeated the Kirkcaldy side 2-0 at the same stage of the competition last season.

The group stage involves 40 clubs - the 38 SPFL teams not involved in European competition plus Cove Rangers (Highland League champions) and East Kilbride (Lowland League champions), drawn into eight groups of five - split into four north groups and four south groups.

Each group contains one seeded club, one second seed and three unseeded clubs.

Clubs are awarded the usual three points for a win but all drawn games in the group stage go straight to penalties and the shoot-out winners receive a bonus point (i.e three points for a win, two points for a shoot-out win and one point for losing on penalties).

If clubs are level on points at the end of the group stage the criteria for separating them is 1) goal difference, 2) goals scored, 3) away goals scored, 4) matches won, 5) away matches won, 6) drawing of lots.

The eight group winners and four best runners-up progress to the second round, where they are joined by the four clubs competing in Europe - Celtic, Rangers, Aberdeen and Kilmarnock.

The seeded teams in the last 16 are the four European clubs and the four group winners with the highest points totals.

The tournament reverts to a traditional knock-out format from the second round onwards, with ties decided by extra time and penalties if the scores are level after 90 minutes.