The blue flag is flying high in Scotland thanks to the Glasgow Rangers’ scintillating run of form both at home as well as abroad. Celtic, on the other hand, have lost their mojo after a series of dismal performances and the decision of Neil Lennon’s exit as the Hoops chief might lead to further misery ahead of hosting Aberdeen on Saturday afternoon.
The Dons, meanwhile, were back to winning ways last weekend against Kilmarnock and would look to rebuild some momentum in order to grab a third-place finish ahead of Hibernian. Derek McInnes’ men endured a 1-0 defeat at Parkhead a couple of weeks back and therefore, are determined now to seek revenge amid Celtic’s ongoing conundrum.
Following Lennon’s resignation, John Kennedy has been promoted as the caretaker manager who made significant strides through coaching ranks since Ronny Deila’s regime. The young Scotsman, a popular figure in the town, knows the pulse of the club and is expected to introduce an attacking brand of football with more pressing and aggression. He himself made progress through Celtic’s youth set-up during his playing days and should look to make the most of the opportunity to boost the odds of a permanent status beyond this campaign.
McInnes prefers direct football which is less attractive but more effective. They did well defensively in the previous meeting but failed to neutralize David Turnbull’s early opener. The Dons should have been more prolific in terms of creating goal-bound threats, particularly in the closing minutes when the hosts were protecting the narrow lead to seal all three points at Paradise. It’s high time for Aberdeen now to be a little braver with two strikers spearheading the attacking line.
Celtic would be without Christopher Jullien who is still recovering from a knee injury. James Forrest has not regained his fitness yet having suffered an ankle injury earlier this season. Greg Taylor was forced to leave the pitch early in their defeat against Ross County and might miss the next few games unless there is a quick recovery.
Celtic Predicted XI
Scott Bain; Jonjoe Kenny, Stephen Welsh, Kristoffer Ajer, Diego Laxalt; Scott Brown, Ryan Christie, Callum McGregor, David Turnbull; Leigh Griffiths, Odsonne Edouard.
Fraser Hornby’s thigh tear has been termed as “an absolute disaster” by the gaffer. Gregory Leigh is sidelined with a hamstring injury whereas Michael Devlin is ruled out as well with an ankle sprain. Ryan Hedges is out for the season with a muscle injury, but the goal scored by substitute Callum Hendry would be a significant boost considering their scoreless run over the past six fixtures prior to Killie win.
Aberdeen Predicted XI
Joe Lewis; Tommie Hoban, Ashton Taylor, Andrew Considine; Connor McLennan, Ross McCrorie, Lewis Ferguson, Dean Campbell, Niall McGinn; Callum Hendry, Florian Kamberi.
The Hoops will highly rely on Odsonne Edouard to find the net who has been in an astounding form of late. David Turnbull has been their shining light in a dire season and the visitors must keep close eyes on the young Scotsman who handed them a 1-0 defeat last time around.
21-year-old Lewis Ferguson has eight league goals to his name and the youngster, as well as the former Rangers pair Ross McCrorie and Florian Kamberi, must step up the show to secure a result on the road.
The bookies have put Celtic at 18/35 to emerge as the winners. The draw is listed as 7/2 while the Dons are at 34/5 to defeat the hosts at their own backyard.