Former Aberdeen forward Darren Mackie believes the Dons will head into this Sunday’s showdown with Celtic confident they can upset the Scottish Premiership leaders.
Derek McInnes’s side returned to winning ways on Saturday with a resounding 3-0 victory at Motherwell thanks to goals from Sam Cosgrove, Niall McGinn and Zak Vyner.
The Dons now turn their attention to the visit of last season’s champions to Pittodrie, while the Hoops take on Lazio at Celtic Park in the Europa League tomorrow night before they return to league duty at the weekend.
Mackie said: “It was a great result as a lot of people were expecting Motherwell to win, especially with Aberdeen’s recent injury problems.
“To go down to Fir Park and win so comfortably was brilliant.
“They will have taken a huge amount of confidence from that game.
“I’m not sure if there is a good time to play Celtic, even after a European game, but the game against Lazio will be difficult.
“The Dons have nothing to lose and all the pressure will be on Celtic.
“They have shown they have the ability to match Celtic.
“Aberdeen tend to give Celtic a very tough game at home and I’m sure Derek McInnes will have the players fired up for it.”
Mackie reckons forward Cosgrove will be key if the Dons are to register a first home win against the Hoops for more than three years.
The Englishman took his tally to 15 goals in 16 games this season with an exquisite finish at Fir Park.
Mackie said: “There were some people who weren’t convinced by Sam when he joined but he has proved everyone wrong.
“He just needed time to settle at the club.
“He has been fantastic and he is causing defences a lot of problems by scoring all sorts of goals. Hopefully that continues.
“Another positive for Aberdeen is that the players who have missed a large chunk of the season, such as Craig Bryson, are getting back to fitness.
“They have had major injury problems this season but every club goes through that at some stage and hopefully it means they will be at full strength at the business end of the season.”
Mackie says scoring the winner against Celtic in a 1-0 Scottish Cup quarter-final replay win in 2008 remains one of his favourite memories from his time with the Dons.
He added: “Everyone had written us off when we went down there for the replay as we should have won it at home but they scored right at the death.
“To get the winning goal was an amazing feeling.
“It was a game I always loved playing in.”