What other explanation can there be for today’s top of the table clash at Celtic Park taking place at 3pm on Saturday? In what other footballing country would that game not be shown live?
Put it another way. Would the TV companies not show us playing the team currently in third place? Of course they wouldn’t, so why would they choose to skip over a game that must by its very definition be even better?
Aberdeen have been Celtic’s nearest challengers for the past few seasons. They were overhauled by Motherwell on the final day of the 2012/13 season, but since then they have been runner up to Celtic in each of the four seasons since then. They were the beaten cup finalists in both cups last season too, and sitting five points behind us in second place at the moment there really is no dispute who our main challengers are.
For those of you who still don’t get it, and I mean you people at Sky, BT, the BBC and all the other media outlets, its Aberdeen. Deal with it.
Despite wheeling out pretty much every single player of the Walter Smith and Dick Advocaat eras at the old Rangers to tell the world why Derek McInnes would leave Aberdeen to go to the new incarnation, the media failed to get their man and McInnes remains in place in the Aberdeen hot seat.
They did manage to disrupt Aberdeen sufficiently enough that when they faced the Ibrox club twice in quick succession recently they were a shambles and lost both matches, but since then they’ve got back on track and back into second spot.
Just in time to face us, unfortunately.
Our last match against Aberdeen was arguably our best game of the season. The Dons were unbeaten in the league when we travelled to Pittodrie, but all they did was send Celtic out with determination. Kieran Tierney, Moussa Dembele and Tom Rogic specifically were utterly unplayable that night and the 3-0 scoreline probably flattered Aberdeen such was our domination of the match.
Whether Celtic can repeat the feat today remains to be seen. Certainly it would be nice if Rogic was fit to face Aberdeen as he seems to have a nack of scoring against them. As well as both cup finals last season, he scored in two of the four league games too.
On Aberdeen’s last visit to Celtic Park, Dedryck Boyata was the difference between the two teams. Of course, that was one of those games where Celtic didn’t have a natural striker fit. When Celtic do have that available, we tend to get goals at home.
Rogic’s goal at home against Aberdeen last season was the fourth Celtic goal of the game. There were three Celtic goals in each of the home games the previous season, and there were also six goals across the two games the season before that.
Mind you, Aberdeen also seem quite capable of getting on the scoresheet most games too. Other than the 1-0 game last season, the last time Aberdeen failed to score at Celtic Park was March 2015 when Celtic won 4-0.
So… 0-0 today then? Seems unlikely considering Wednesday night’s win against Partick Thistle was our first clean sheet in a month. We’d conceded in each of our later five games, and you’d fancy Aberdeen to do better than the team currently propping up the league table.
Aberdeen are scoring goals again too. The 1-0 win against Dundee came at the end of a difficult week for McInnes and co, but the games since then have been 3-1 and 4-1 wins against St Johnstone and Hibernian respectively.
It shouldn’t need me to say the obvious, but if Celtic are to get the three points today against out nearest rivals then we’re going to have to find our form, take our chances, and not make daft mistakes at the back. The five point gap we have at the moment is great, but this is the perfect opportunity to make it even bigger.
It should be a terrific game though. Celtic will doubtless be up for it, and Aberdeen are clearly back on form again and will fancy their chances of inflicting a second defeat of the season on us.
It’s just a shame no one outside of Celtic Park will be able to watch it.
Krys (Twitter @krys1888)