ABERDEEN will be without the suspended Graeme Shinnie and on-loan Celt Ryan Christie against Brendan Rodgers’ champions at Pittodrie tomorrow afternoon.
But Dons boss Derek McInnes is convinced his team will be able to halt the run that has seen the Parkhead outfit clock up nine wins from their previous nine meetings.
The Hoops sit nine points ahead of the Dons in the Premiership table and the Reds gaffer doesn’t want to see them extend that gap as he hopes they can still push the leaders all the way to the wire with 11 matches remaining.
He said: “It has always been a big game, usually first against second and I think Celtic have always treated it that way.
“Their bigger and better players bring that kind of performance
“Against us, they always have their bigger players on the pitch, but we should relish that challenge. We need to bring a better level of performance individually and that should bring about a better team performance.
“In the games against Rangers and Celtic, the individual performances have been better from their players than it has been from ours.
“It is nine games and nine defeats to Celtic, which doesn’t sit well.
“There were two Cup Finals in there and they have all been big matches.
“Even if they are not in full throttle for 90 minutes it’s difficult to get results against them and that has been the case for us.”
McInnes admitted a sell-out at Pittodrie will help his players as they try to get over the 2-0 loss against Hibs at Easter Road.
He added: “The players play with motivation every week. They were disappointed with the performance last week.
“It was in contrast to what we have been getting before that. I had been very pleased with our play since the winter break.
“We want to get back to winning ways, although facing Celtic is always the toughest game you have.
“But we will try and I don’t think their European game will have much of an impact.
“Celtic are the one team who are used to coping with that sort of schedule. They have the squad size to deal with it.”