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Match Preview | Aberdeen v Livingston

November 30, 2021 3:25 pm Author: Aberdeen FC
Match Preview | Aberdeen v Livingston

 

Competition: cinch Scottish Premiership
Match: Aberdeen v Livingston
Venue: Pittodrie
Kick Off: 19:45
TV Coverage: RedTV International, Virtual Season Ticket and Pay Per View. Audio Commentary is available to RedTV UK subscribers.

It is back to back home game for The Dons this week and manager Stephen Glass previewed the first of those games, against Livingston on Wednesday evening, with the media on Tuesday lunchtime. To watch in full on RedTV, please click here.

Team News

“The squad for Livingston will be very close to what we were from the weekend. Dylan won’t make it, Scott has got a very good chance of making it and we will add Funso back in. Other than that we are as we were. Dylan will be out for the next couple of games and then we will assess him further after that. He doesn’t look good for this week.

“We are hopeful that Scott will make it. He was out on the grass today doing some light work. We all know what he is like as a person, if he has got a chance to be out on the pitch, he will be and he will make sure the rest of the staff know that he wants to be as well. Hopefully we will have that opportunity tomorrow night to see him again.

December

“There are plenty of games between now and the end of the year which gives us an opportunity to win matches which is what we need. It gives us a chance, if we do our jobs right, to get some consistent performances, if people are able to stay fit or if we can get people back we can maybe get consistency of selection as well.

“I am welcoming the opportunity with the amount of games we have coming up and I think the players are to. Anytime there has been a run of fixtures they have looked hungry to impress, hungry to keep going. If you win it is a great chance to build momentum. If you don’t get what you think you should have it is a good chance to get back on board quickly. I think you will see that from the players on Wednesday.

“It is a busy period of games so you can do bits and pieces of training with the players. You can do less active coaching. You can’t run the players at match pace but you can still get the information into them and that is the challenge. The players have shown that anytime there has been this amount of games quickly they have done well and have coped with it. That is good news for us as coaches that the players can take that in and it has been positive and I hope that shows on Wednesday night.

Being Ruthless

“It is the same story with any of the games we have lost all season, we were not ruthless enough at the top end of the pitch and we gave up soft goals, we haven’t been picked apart. The Celtic game was a different kettle of fish, the quality that they posses, they were better than on us on the day but we got undone by a goal that deflects off of their captain and goes in. The two previous games are the ones that we should have done better in, we know the areas that we should be better in and it is important that we do that in the two games coming up.

“If you take away the Celtic game from the weekend, the amount of shots that we give up that hit the target, and the amount that end up in the net, it doesn’t translate into games that we should be losing vs what is going in at the other end.

“It is important that we stick to our guns, we keep doing what we are good at and we negate the mistakes at the other end. The percentages and the numbers do back us up that we are going the right way if other little bits and pieces are looked after better at both ends.

Starting XI

“The players all know what it takes in training to make us think that they should be playing. I don’t think that we have picked a team where we are looking at the starting XI that are on the pitch and we are thinking that one of those on the bench has really forced us and should be playing. That is the difficult part. The team in the main has more or less looked after itself. There are players itching to get a chance but they know that training well is what it gets it. Poor performances from players in the team is what gets them out as well. It is probably a double edged sword.

“Matty Longstaff is here on loan and there are a parent club and discussions that have to happen. Clearly Matty would have liked more game time, clearly we would have liked better performances. There are a lot of games coming up in December with a lot of opportunities for a good number of our players and Matty comes in under that umbrella.

“We are well aware of where we are in the league because we have not been picking up points. The important thing for us to control what we can control, which is to pick up three points on Wednesday night. Then when we do start to look at the table later in the season we are where we should be. Wins get you where you need to be and that is what we are focusing on.

Livingston

“They are a difficult team to play against. Since we have been in, we have had them in the cup, we had them in the league at the end of last season and we played them earlier this season. We are aware of the threats that they pose, we are aware of where we think we can hurt them and we are aware of how much of a battle the game is going to be. The players have shown that they are up for it and I think if they do the same on Wednesday night I think we have got quality players who are well capable of winning the game.

“One thing we need to do is give Livingston the respect and the focus that we gave Celtic at the weekend. If we do that defensively and we are concentrated enough going forward I do think that we can come out on top.

January Transfer Window

“It is a continually thing that is going on. We are aware of people that might want to move on, you are aware of players that might be attractive to other clubs so you have to be ready to fill the gaps or even add if nothing happens. There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes so we can continue to make the squad better. That is always going to be our focus whatever is happening on the pitch.

“I don’t expect to lose players in January but if the phone rings a big offer can come in for one of your players. That is something that we can’t control. We can control being ready to pull the trigger on things to replace players if they go. We know where the danger spots are, there are a lot of people who get linked to things so you have to be ready. A lot of our players would be attractive to other clubs.

“The squad is determined to put things right. There is an unbelievable spirit in the group. I said it since the day I came in and I have never seen anything different. That is where we are. There are a group of players and a group of staff that know that we have to do things a little bit better, there are bits of games that could be a lot better. We get plenty of opportunities in December to show that we are capable.”

Last Time Out

The sides met on the second weekend of league action at Livingston back in August. The home side went in at the break in front thanks to a goal from former Aberdeen striker Bruce Anderson. The Dons bounced back in the second half when Teddy Jenks scored two minutes after the restart. With the game looking like it was heading for a draw, Jack MacKenzie scored his first goal for Aberdeen when his right footed strike found its way past Max Stryjek, in the Livi goal, to hand Aberdeen all three points.

Familiar Faces

Aberdeen striker JET will face his former club on Wednesday evening, having made the switch to Pittodrie from the Tony Macaroni Arena in the summer. He made 31 appearances for Livi last season, scoring nine goals in all competitions. Moving in the other direction in the summer was Bruce Anderson. The striker, who had been at The Dons since he was 11 years old, joined Livingston on a three year deal. Aberdeen centre back Declan Gallagher also spent a spell at Livingston making over 150 appearances for the club as he helped them to gain promotion back to the Scottish Premiership.

Top 5 Goals v Livingston at Pittodrie

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report | Dons back to winning ways

December 1, 2021 9:40 pm Author: Aberdeen FC
report | Dons back to winning ways

 

ABERDEEN 2 LIVINGSTON 0
SPFL Premiership
Pittodrie
Wednesday December 1st 2021
Attendance: 6,295
Referee: Craig Napier

A solid, professional display from back to front put the Dons back on track as they completed a comprehensive and well deserved victory over Livingston.

Aberdeen made two changes from the side beaten at Celtic Park on Sunday, with Dylan McGeouch out through injury and Jack Gurr dropping to the bench. Funso Ojo returned from injury and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas returned to the starting XI against his former club. Gary Woods and Connor McLennan were also back on the bench, Tom Ritchie and Matty Longstaff missing out.

There were also two changes for Livingston with Jack McMillan and Cristian Montano dropping out in favour of Ayo Obileye and Jackson Longridge.

Winter had certainly arrived at Pittodrie on a bracing night under the lights, the sleet and snow swirling in a blustery wind as the players took to the field. The game took time to warm up in the conditions before Scott Brown fired a swerving shot just wide of goal from the edge of the box after good possession from the Dons in the eighth minute.

David Bates and Anderson were having a ding dong in the early minutes and the former Aberdeen striker was lucky not to get booked after shoving Bates to the ground in the 14th minute.

There were huge appeals for an Aberdeen penalty on the break in the 17th minute. Joe Lewis hurled the ball out to get Lewis Ferguson on the run. He found Ryan Hedges and as he looked to square the ball for Emmanuel-Thomas, the ball clearly struck Omeonga on the arm, well away from his side.

As the first half reached halfway, Aberdeen were really turning up the wick and they took a fully deserved lead on 23 minutes. Emmanuel-Thomas fed Christian Ramirez in the centre circle and he slid a neat pass into the path of Hedges. Driving forward, cutting in from the right, the Livingston defence kept backing off, inviting him to club a low left foot shot from 15 yards just inside the post.

The Welsh international almost made it two from a lovely move down the right on 35 minutes, exchanging passes with Ramirez before bursting into the box and firing off another shot from a dozen yards, Stryjek just able to turn this one around the post with is leg.

A great run from Marley Watkins, dancing past several challenges, ended with him crossing just beyond Ramirez on 40 minutes as Aberdeen went looking for that all important second goal. A deflected Jonny Hayes cross then fell kindly for Watkins a couple of minutes later, but his snapshot on the turn was fielded by the goalkeeper.

HALF-TIME: ABERDEEN 1 LIVINGSTON 0

Two changes for Livi at the break, Shinnie and Hamilton replacing Obileye and Anderson. Immediately upon the restart, there was a heavy challenge between Ojo and Longridge, Longridge booked after both had received treatment.

Aberdeen should have made it two with a well crafted move on 53 minutes. Emmanuel-Thomas won the ball on halfway and found Ramirez. He slid the ball into the run of Hedges but he couldn’t quite get the ball out of his feet and the chance went begging. Livingston were more attack minded in the second half but it meant the Dons were looking a threat on the break.

Longridge took a chunk out of Hedges as he tried to clear on the edge of the box on the hour and, after taking a moment to think about it, the referee produced a second yellow and Livi were down to ten men. They quickly withdrew Forrest who was replaced by Penrice.

Livi continued to press when they could though, and Bailey speared in an effort that wasn’t too far away on 66 minutes, the angle too tight for him to get it on target.

The lead was doubled on 75 minutes. Hayes curled in a free-kick from wide on the left touchline and Bates swooped down upon it six yards out to sweep in a striker’s finish, first time with the left foot, registering his first goal in a red shirt.

Watkins was in behind three minutes later, following a lopping Hayes all forward, but his finish was weak as he stretched for the ball and the score remained 2-0. The Dons made their first change on 80 minutes, Watkins replaced by Niall McGinn.

McGinn was quickly in the action, hooking the ball into Ramirez after receiving a good ball from Emmanuel-Thomas, but the American couldn’t quite get enough on the ball at the near post. McGinn was in again on 83 minutes but he put this effort over the bar. Ramirez then made way for the return of McLennan and, seconds later, Hedges limped off, Austin Samuels on in his place.

Emmanuel-Thomas tested Stryjek on 92 minutes, receiving the ball with his back to goal on the edge of the box, holding off the defender to turn and get a shot away that the ‘keeper handled comfortably as the game came to a close.

ABERDEEN: Lewis, Ojo, McCrorie, Bates, Hayes, Brown, Ferguson, Hedges (Samuels 85), Watkins (McGinn 80), Emmanuel-Thomas, Ramirez (McLennan 84).
Subs not used: Woods, Campbell, Jenks, Gurr.

GOALS: Hedges (23), Bates (75)

LIVINGSTON: Stryjek, Devlin, Fitzwater, Parkes, Obileye (Hamilton 46), Holt, Omeonga, Longridge, Forrest (Penrice 64), Bailey, Anderson (Shinnie 46).
Subs not used: Maley, McMillan, Sibbald, Panayiotou.

SENT OFF: Longridge
BOOKED: Longridge

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