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Can Aberdeen catch up with Celtic?

Friday 22nd December 2017

When most of us think about Scottish football we instantly notice Celtic or Rangers as prioritized teams, but this season Aberdeen are flying high in the Scottish Premiership. Currently, in second place, the Dons are hot on the tails of defending Scottish Champions Celtic.

Just halfway through the campaign, Aberdeen are on 39 points from 19 games. They are currently five points behind Celtic who recently beat Patrick Thistle 2-0. The result prior, which was a loss to Hearts, ended Celtic's 69 unbeaten domestic run. Even though Celtic have only lost one game this season, they have managed to drop points from two of their last five matches. Aberdeen has managed three back-to-back victories, giving them momentum to catch up with the current league leaders.

Derek McInnes's side have managed to score eight goals in their past three games; goal difference will be important if they want to push for the title. Producing goals from all over the park, the Dons have 14 different goal scorers this campaign. Strikers, Adam Rooney has five goals, while Stevie May has bagged four. Midfielders such as Kenny McLean and Ryan Christie have three each, while Gary Mackay-Steven totals four. This includes six defenders that have also managed to score one goal each. These are impressive stats for a team which looks to be aiming for the title.

For three years in a row, Aberdeen has been runners-up to Celtic in the Scottish top tier. They want to change things around this season. Rangers are hot on their heels just three points behind. if Aberdeen stay consistent, though, they could steer away from the third place and close the gap on Celtic in pole position.

This Saturday Aberdeen travel to Celtic Park to battle it out against the defending champions. It could be the most important match of the season so far for the Dandies as a victory would mean they cut the deficit to Celtic. That being said, the Hoops have scored the most and conceded the least in the league this season. Totalling 43 goals and only 15 conceded. It will be no easy task for Derek McInnes and his men.

If Aberdeen have anything to hold on to, it is definitely their form. Celtic have also been stuttering and it is probably the best time to play them. McInnes will probably stick to the 4-2-3-1 formation that has been influential in their past three victories. Adam Rooney will, of course, be leading the lineup in front. He will be aiming to get on the scoreboard against Celtic this weekend.

Realistically, the Dons first aim is to prevent Celtic from scoring, but finding the net would be another accomplishment. This match is probably the most important game of the season for Aberdeen, meaning there could be added pressure. They will feel they have nothing to lose, though, as they have been runners-up for a number of years now.

This weekend could produce a season-defining result. Aberdeen are out to shock not just football fans in Scotland but from around the world. Celtic have been dominant for some time. However, a win for Aberdeen could knock the confidence of Brendan Rodgers' men.

Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.

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