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Celtic V Aberdeen | Match Preview

September 28, 2018 4:21 pm Author: Matthew Findlay

We look ahead to Saturday’s trip to Celtic Park. 

The Dons are back down to the central belt this Saturday as they face Celtic at Celtic Park. It’s been a good week for Derek McInnes’s side starting with the win against Motherwell and they followed that up with a dramatic victory over Hibernian in the Betfred Cup on penalty kicks. A win would shoot Aberdeen right up the table, but it’s not been a kind venue to them over the years.

Brendan Rodgers’ side also booked their place in the last four of the League Cup this week overcoming St Johnstone in Perth. It’s been a testing start for the champions and they have tasted defeat twice in the league so far including a late loss to Kilmarnock last Sunday.

On Friday morning Dons boss Derek McInnes and Gary Mackay-Steven spoke to the media before setting off for Glasgow.

WHAT DEREK SAID

“I think it’s been a good week until now and a brilliant week would be getting the result at Celtic Park.

“I sat here last week and talked about the importance of the three games. The first one was three points against Motherwell, getting through the cup tie and now trying to deal with Celtic, which is always difficult. I’m pleased with getting through the tie and I’m pleased with a lot of what we’re getting from the players. Good resilience, a decent level of performance and we’re still searching for those perfect performances and we’re working towards that. Hopefully by getting one or two back in the next two weeks will help as well.”

“Results like the other night can galvanise a squad. This is a new squad and you have to go through ups and downs and through certain situations. I think the players who scored the penalty kicks, it can give them added confidence. It’s all about building at the start of the season and building those relationships and team spirit. We’ve got good players, but to be a good team you need to come through things and I think that’s something we managed to accomplish the other night against a good Hibs team. Not many teams go there and keep a clean sheet and we’ve kept a clean sheet against them for 120 minutes.”

Read and watch the manager’s press conference in full here

WHAT GARY SAID

“I’m enjoying myself. The manager has given me a lot of belief and I said before that this pre-season went really well for me. You get minutes under your belt in pre-season and hit the ground running and we started the season with big games in Europe. I’ve just carried it on. I feel fit physically in a good place and mentally in a good place, so it comes by playing games. I feel really good here and we’ve got a great squad that the manager has assembled here. I feel as well as it’s gone there’s more to come and I’m excited with what’s to come. I’m enjoying my time definitely.

“It’s important to dig deep and show you can go down to the wire and you can get the victory that can almost be a kick start that unites the squad. We had that this week in two different ways and I think we’re in a good place going into Saturday.”

Read and watch Gary’s press conference in full here

Recent Encounters | V Celtic

It’s no secret that Celtic Park has been a difficult place to go for many Aberdeen teams and they have only managed four wins in fifteen years. They will however take confidence knowing they won there on the final day of last season. The Dons went into the match knowing a victory would be enough to secure a fourth consecutive runners up berth. A few eyes were on Easter Road where if Rangers bettered Aberdeen’s result they would snatch the second place. The first half appeared to be plain sailing for the reds as news filtered through that Hibs were 3-0 up against Rangers. That all changed however and by half time it was 3-3 and back on a knife edge. Fortunately, Aberdeen took care of business and put in an excellent display with Andy Considine’s early second half strike giving them a first league win in the East End of Glasgow for the first time since 2004.

Last season’s first encounter brought out arguably Celtic’s best performance of the season as they won handsomely 3-0 at Pittodrie in October. The same scoreline was inflicted in the return fixture at Celtic Park, although it was harsh on the visitors. The victory at Celtic Park was the first win for Derek McInnes over Brendan Rodgers, although he had some success over his predecessors. In McInnes’s first season he led his Aberdeen side to two victories against Celtic with both being significant. Jonny Hayes’ wonderful strike ended Celtic’s long clean sheet record and the 2-1 win would be the only defeat of the campaign. Just weeks before The Dons landed another famous Scottish Cup win at Celtic Park as Neil Lennon’s side were dumped out by goals from Russell Anderson and Peter Pawlett.

In the 2015/16 season The Dons pushed Celtic all the way in the race for the title and proved their credentials with two excellent 2-1 wins at Pittodrie. Paul Quinn’s late winner in September made its six wins from six at the start of the season. By February many had expected the Aberdeen challenge to fall away, but goals from Simon Church and Jonny Hayes ensured another win over Ronnie Delia’s Hoops and continued the Aberdeen charge.

For The Record | V Celtic

Celtic have the better record against Aberdeen in league football boasting 157 wins compared to The Dons’ 71. There have been 63 draws between the sides, although the points haven’t been shared since 2012. Also remarkably there hasn’t been a draw at Celtic Park since December 1988.

Supporter Information

GETTING TO THE GAME

The weather forecast shows that it will be about 10 degrees, cloudy with a 50% of rain, moderate wind and a 40% chance of rain.

Please check local and national radio for ongoing trouble spots.  Supporters are advised to routinely check the Transport Scotland and Traffic Scotland websites for live updates. Listen to traffic updates on the radio as you travel and plan to arrive at the stadium in plenty of time.  

Supporters coaches (including the disabled supporters coach) and minibuses are advised to park in Springfield Road.

AT THE STADIUM

Aberdeen supporters will be accommodated in sections 119 -120 at Celtic Park.  Access is via turnstiles 66 & 67 which open at 1.30pm. Please arrive as early as possible to ensure that you get in before kick-off at 3pm.

Stewards and Police will be vigilant at the turnstiles and supporters should expect to be searched. Tickets are for allocated seating. This is particularly important due to restricted view seating, which is prevalent in the area. Please respect any requests by Stewards or Police.

Celtic FC implement the same rules and regulations surrounding unacceptable behaviour as Aberdeen, so please abide by these.  Please refer to the Celtic website for more information.

There is no smoking permitted in the stadium and strictly no pyrotechnic devices.

Please expect any flags to be examined for their content before being allowed entry.

NO LARGE BAGS ARE PERMITTED. All other bags will be searched.  

Once again thank you for the support and come on you reds!

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Rd7 | Celtic 1 Aberdeen 0 | match report : Live

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Rd7 | Celtic 1 Aberdeen 0 | match report

September 29, 2018 6:06 pm Author: Malcolm Panton

 

Aberdeen made two changes from the side which won at Easter Road on Tuesday night. Niall McGinn came in for Max Lowe and Stevie May replaced Sam Cosgrove who picked up a knock in midweek.

As usual at this venue the Dons played from right to left in the first half.

In the second minute the home side had a decent chance. Celtic moved the ball down the right after a period of possession. Lustig cut it back for Forrest who fired over. In the fourth minute Shinnie was forced to make a good tackle as Celtic pressed again.

In the seventh minute Celtic won a free kick midway inside the Aberdeen half. It was an opportunity for them to put all their big players inside the box, but Michael Devlin defended the situation well.

The central defender had started the game strongly. McGregor then put over a dangerous cross from the left and Considine did well to get to the ball ahead of Forrest. A vital touch from the left back.

In the 11th minute Aberdeen managed to put together their first proper break. Mackay-Steven was able to run from the edge of one box to the other and put over a cross but he could not find May. Aberdeen maybe should have done better because they had a three on two momentarily.

15 minutes in and Aberdeen won the first corner of the afternoon after McGinn whipped in a cross which was headed behind. The corner was worked to GMS on edge of the area but his right footed shot was off target.

In the 19th minute Aberdeen put together a lovely move down the left after a Devlin interception. Considine chipped it forward for May who flicked it on for GMS who got in down the line. His cross went all the way through to McGinn at the back of the area and his first tie shot whistled just past the post. Aberdeen then had a really good spell and put over a couple of dangerous crosses, but they were all frustratingly slightly too strong.

At the other end, Celtic breaking this time, Griffiths danced his way into the area but McKenna stood up to the threat. Nitcham and Edouard then put together the first inventive move of the game but Lewis was off his line quickly to cut out the through ball.

25 minutes gone and plenty of steel from the Dons.

In the 26th minute a shot out of nothing from Edouard hit the post before McKenna cleared the rebound. It was a great shot that was curling away from Lewis. Celtic then enjoyed another good spell of possession which ended with Boyata heading a cross over the bar. A well worked move but he had little control of the header.

Tierney then had treatment after a tackle from McGinn which gave Aberdeen a chance to regroup.

The manager will have been pleased with the performance in the opening half hour.

On 34 minutes Celtic won their first corner. The referee blew for a foul as the ball came over. Two minutes later referee Madden was in the spotlight when the home side were screaming for a penalty when there was a coming together between Edouard and McKenna on the edge of the area. It was outside the box anyway.

Edouado was injured and had to be replaced by Sinclair.

The Dons were doing well in midfield – both Shinnie and Ball were stopping Celtic anything through the middle. Both had really solid games.

On 42 minutes Aberdeen so nearly scored after Mackay-Steven glided through the Celtic defence, he beat four players and looked certainly to score but Gordon made himself big and made a great stop inside the six-yard box. An outstanding run that deserved a goal. Then McGInn’s corner was knocked on by Wilson and Griffiths on the post had to clear the ball off the line.

In the final minute of the half Brown lifted the ball over the bar from a Celtic corner. A very even first four-five minutes.

Half time: Celtic 0 Aberdeen 0

Celtic started the second half strongly. There was more urgency in their play. In the 48th minute a low shot from McGregor had to touched round the post by Lewis. Diving low to his left it was good save from big Joe. Henry headed the resulting corner over the bar.

In the 50th minute Aberdeen again worked a good break. McGinn, after a lovely lay off by Wilson, played over an early cross looking for May but Lustig managed to intercept. Then Wilson worked another move which resulted in the striker putting in a curling shot and Gordon had to make a good save. A great shot from Wilson.

Shortly after that Shinnie burst into the area and found May. His shot was blocked by Boyata. A good spell from Aberdeen, they were well in this game with an hour gone.

With 61 minutes gone Rogic replaced Nitcham. Shortly after that Wilson had to come off with an injury so was replaced by Cosgrove.

All Aberdeen’s good work was undone when they gave away a really unlucky goal on 63 minutes. Aberdeen failed to clear their lines when Forrest beat Considine and got a cross over. Griffiths battled for it and then Sinclair, aware that there was no one behind him, back heeled it into the net.

Celtic then put Aberdeen under real pressure and the Dons central defenders had to get in a couple of good blocks before Griffiths put a free kick well over.

On 68 minutes McGinn almost got on the end of May cross before Stevie was replaced by Max Lowe.

In the 74th minute Griffiths had another opportunity from a free kick about 20 yards out. The striker fired in a low shot which Lewis met. Really good save as he would not have seen the ball coming through the wall till late.

With fifteen minutes to go Aberdeen had a free kick in a good area. GMS played it into the near post but the ball was flicked wide by Devlin. It was a really well worked free-kick because a couple of Aberdeen players had lost their markers. On 77 minutes GMS might have done better when he intercepted a loose header.

On a couple off occasions in the closing stages GMS just took the wrong option but it was encouraging the areas he was picking up the ball. The winger had a really good game. With seven minutes to go Anderson replaced McGinn. On 86 minutes Cosgrove headed a corner over. He was unable to get any direction on the ball. With two minutes to go Aberdeen wasted a free kick in a good area – McKenna could only knock it down for Gordon.

In injury time Leigh Griffiths missed a chance as Aberdeen failed to mount any late pressure.

Disappointing afternoon as Aberdeen deserved to get something from the game. They matched Celtic for long spells and had some good moments.

Full Time: Celtic 1 Aberdeen 0

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