The early kick off at Pittodrie today sees ABERDEEN v CELTIC at 12.30pm. The Dons certainly have their tails up at the moment and they will see today as a great opportunity to improve on a record of just one win in their last 31 matches against the Parkhead club. New manager McInnes has fostered an air of optimism amongst the players and support and it will be a packed Pittodrie at lunchtime. The home support will be willing their team on to maintain their 100% record in the league.
This is not disrespectful to Aberdeen or their support but Celtic’s eyes will be on Tuesday when they play the first leg of their Champions’ League play off. Whatever team takes the field of play today against The Dons will arguably be markedly different from the team that starts on Tuesday. Celtic’s ‘injury list’ is an irrelevance for today’s match. Lennon employed this form of squad rotation in last year’s CL campaign, dropping many domestic points en route. He, and his team, were very unfairly criticised for this in some quarters, but getting to the last sixteen and doing the domestic double proved his strategy correct!
As I have already alluded to, I have no clue as to the actual personnel who will kick off for Celtic today. The Dons are missing Barry Robson, Chris Clark and long-term casualty Andrew Considine. Russell Anderson should make it for today. Aberdeen have great pace and a goal threat from many areas. Wouldn’t Niall McGinn like to show his old club that they were wrong to let him go? Some bookmakers are offering around even money on Celtic to win today – very generous odds it may seem. I believe it reflects two things, however. Firstly the fact that Celtic will field a weakened team today and secondly, on a more praiseworthy note to The Dons, the vast improvement in the Aberdeen team.
Prediction: I stated at the start of the season that Celtic were certainties for The Premiership and that I thought that Aberdeen would come in second. I also stated that although Celtic would be favourites for every domestic game, that they would drop points along the way, drawing and losing some matches – as they did last season. I am therefore going to stick my neck out and go for ……a home win for Aberdeen!