Billy Dodds has warned Aberdeen must expect Rangers to be riled up for the task of preventing the Dons claiming a hat-trick of victories at Ibrox this weekend.
The two sides will meet for the seventh time this term on Sunday, with Derek McInnes’ men holding the upper hand with three victories and two draws so far.
All three of the Dons’ triumphs have come in Glasgow, with Lewis Ferguson’s header securing a 1-0 League Cup semi final victory at Hampden Park in October, before Scott McKenna’s goal secured a win by the same scoreline on league duty in Govan in December.
It is the most recent meeting between the teams, when the Reds were 2-0 winners in a Scottish Cup quarter final replay in March, which former Scotland forward Dodds believes will rankle most with the Gers, and he expects Steven Gerrard’s men to be on a payback mission this weekend.
Dodds, who played for both clubs, said: “In one-off games Aberdeen are certainly capable – they have shown they are as good as them if not better – although Rangers will say they are above them in the league.
“After the Scottish Cup draw at Pittodrie, it looked like Rangers had them where they wanted them, but Aberdeen got an early first goal and the second gave them that confidence.
“I’m not going to say the word revenge, but Rangers will certainly want to put it right. That was probably one of the most disappointing results of the season for Steven Gerrard’s men.
“There is plenty to play for. Even though Rangers look well ahead to finish second this year, there is definitely an edge to them wanting to put right what went wrong the last time.
“That was probably Rangers’ biggest chance of a trophy – as it was for Aberdeen – but they have got them in the last wee while.
“I would be careful if I was Aberdeen, as they have had great results – beating them at Hampden and at Ibrox twice. They have to be at the same performance level again, or it can flip the complete opposite way and they could take a bit of a doing.
“They will have to tread carefully. I think there will be a real edge to this one, as there always is for these games.”
Aberdeen go into the game eight points behind second placed Rangers, and Dodds feels they will need to produce another courageous display to secure a victory which would boost their chances of finishing third.
He added: “It’s something Derek McInnes will be delighted with, going down there and competing.
“I know it never worked out at Hampden against Celtic, and it will be difficult as Aberdeen are still missing a few players. They are going to have to be right on the money, take any chances that come their way, and show the discipline they did not show against Celtic.
“They need everything to go right, even though they have won there twice this season. They just need to go and cement third place now.”