Here we are again. The top two teams in Scotland for the last five years are playing against each other and the most coverage we get of it is radio commentary and five minutes of highlights on Sunday night.
It’s fine when we travel to Pittodrie, that game is always on TV and no one seems to hear any complaints about train times then. Make Aberdeen travel down to the central belt for a lunch time kick off however and all of a sudden we all know exactly when the earliest train gets into Queen Street.
I’m sure 3pm on a Saturday won’t be a problem for them though. What might be a problem for them is their form.
If you think we’ve been struggling to score goals of late, take a look at Aberdeen. On Tuesday night they went through to the League Cup semi final on penalties after a goalless draw in a game they probably should have lost. They’ve scored just five league goals in their six league games, one on each game except their 2-0 defeat at home to Kilmarnock.
Indeed, the only game where they score more than once was their second round League Cup match against St Mirren. So maybe we shouldn’t laugh too much since we couldn’t score against them at all.
Despite this, they’re not really conceding either. Kilmarnock are the only team to score more than once against them other than Burnley in the Europa League qualifiers – and even they took extra time to achieve that.
So if ever a game had 0-0 written all over it, it’s this one.
Leigh Griffiths has scored our only goal in each of the last three games. Our only other striker, Odsonne Edouard, hasn’t really found his form so far this season. Behind them, Callum McGregor, Tom Rogic, James Forrest and Scott Sinclair all seem down on their goal tallies of this time last year too.
Meanwhile at the back we can’t keep anyone fit. Jack Hendry is just back, Kristoffer Ajer hobbled off on Wednesday night, Filip Benkovic didn’t even get to start on Sunday, Jozo Simunovic has been missing for a while but it still losing the hide and seek championship to Marvin Compper.
I suppose we have Dedryck Boyata, but just after he seemed to be knuckling down and trying to make up for his strop last month, he completely lost the plot at referee John Beaton on Wednesday and will miss our League Cup semi final as a consequence.
Come on Dedryck, we all know the referees in this country and woefully inadequate to do the job, you have to be smarter than that. Even if whatever foul and abusive language you used against him was probably justified, leave it up to the fans to question his parentage and otherwise call him out to be a massive phallus.
It will likely be Boyata and Hendry in partnership today, and the good news is that Hendry’s jinx is finally broken after Wednesday night. People really have it in for Hendry as if he’s the only reason Celtic don’t win games. He’s not great, he’s cost us goals recently, but in other games it’s been profligacy up top that has cost us far more.
On Wednesday night I wanted us to win an away game for the first time since Alashkert. We did that, and although it wasn’t the best performance we certainly saw more encouraging signs, especially in the second half.
We need to put a run together now to restore the confidence and start to lift ourselves up the table. Beating Aberdeen will be a good start to that, but they’ll be just as keen to win as we are. We’re currently sixth in the table behind Kilmarnock on goal difference. Aberdeen are another point behind us in seventh. A win for them could see them move right up to second depending on other results.
Clearly though that’s the case for us too. But let’s not forget, the last time we faced Aberdeen their agricultural tactics earned them a 1-0 victory that tainted trophy day a little but also meant they guaranteed themselves second spot. They’ll use that win as motivation today knowing they are capable of doing it and hoping to do it again.
It’s up to us to ensure they don’t even get a sniff of it. No complacency, no mistakes, no disappointing wasted chances, no excuses for the referee to swing things in our opponents favour.
Get them pumped.
Krys (Twitter @krys1888)