KEY dates for the 2018/19 Scottish football season have been published by the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL).

The body confirmed on Tuesday that the Ladbrokes Premiership winter break will be retained next year, running from 31 December to 18 January. 

Action gets underway with the Betfred Cup group stages running from 14-28 July, before all four league seasons begin on 4 August. 

Read more: Neil Lennon: Celtic can be beaten to the Scottish title - but only if they defeat Zenit

The first knockout round of the League Cup, featuring the Scottish sides involved in European qualifiers, will take place on 18 August while the opening round of the IRN-BRU Cup is scheduled for the midweek of 14 and 15 August.

All of these dates are subject to live broadcast selections and a full fixture list for the league campaigns will be published in mid-June. 

2018/19 season - key dates

Betfred Cup group stage matches

MD1 Saturday July 14

MD2 Midweek of July 17/18

MD3 Saturday July 21

MD4 Midweek of July 24/25

MD5 Saturday July 28

Betfred Cup round 2

Saturday August 18

Ladbrokes SPFL (all divisions)

Fixture round 1 - Saturday August 4

Fixture round 2 - Saturday August 11

Ladbrokes Premiership winter break

Monday December 31 until Friday January 18

IRN-BRU Cup round 1

Midweek of August 14/15