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Sean Wallace: Bojan Miovski and Duk – the strike partnership who could ignite Aberdeen’s Champions League dream?

Left, Aberdeen's Luis 'Duk' Lopes celebrates making it 2-1 against Motherwell with teammate Bojan Miovski.
Left, Aberdeen's Luis 'Duk' Lopes celebrates making it 2-1 against Motherwell with teammate Bojan Miovski.

Strikers Bojan Miovski and Duk could be the lethal strike partnership who ignite Aberdeen’s Champions League dream.

The Dons’ summer signings have already forged a strong partnership as the recent move to start both upfront is paying off.

Aberdeen’s 2-1 defeat of Motherwell at the weekend could be the shape of things to come.

It was the first time Miovski and Duk both scored when playing together from the start – and they weren’t tap-ins either. Both goals were superb and evidence of strikers bursting with confidence.

My sense is there will be many more games where they are both on the scoresheet.

Aberdeen’s Luis Lopes celebrates scoring with team-mate Bojan Miovski to make it 2-1 against Motherwell.

It could be a partnership to propel the Dons into a fight for second spot and the Champions League qualifiers.

Far fetched? Possibly. But anything is possible with a strike force as potent as Miovski and Duk clearly have the potential to be.

Miovski has already hit nine goals this season in 14 games.

Dons boss Jim Goodwin recently said Duk had to work on his fitness and match sharpness when signing from Benfica, which is why it took the Cape Verde international a while to make an impact.

Aberdeen’s Bojan Miovski celebrates making it 1-0 against Motherwell.

Now fully match sharp, what an impact Luis Lopes, aka Duk, is making.

He has scored in each of the last three games, all wins and is terrorising defenders with his direct play, aggression and pace.

Duk is on seven goals for the season in just four starts.

Luis Duk Lopes (11) of Aberdeen celebrates his goal against Hearts.

Barring injury or major loss of form, Miovski and Duk look more than capable of delivering 20 goals apiece this season.

That is apparent when breaking down the goals-per-minutes-played by the duo.

Duk has played 603 minutes since signing a three-year deal from Benfica.

He is averaging a goal every 86 minutes.

That average drops dramatically to a goal every 60 minutes since he hit full fitness and scored his first goal.

Miovski has racked up 1,085 minutes of action and is averaging a goal every 120 minutes.

Aberdeen’s Bojan Miovski scores to make it 1-0 against Motherwell.

Aberdeen’s switch to a 3-5-2 formation also allows wing-backs to rampage up the flanks and deliver crosses to the strikers without fear of compromising defensive solidity.

The Dons are delivering the ammunition for Duk and Miovski, who are converting.

It is a winning combination.

If Miovski and Duk keep firing on all cylinders, they can potentially lead a bid to finish second in the Premiership.

A team who have a strike partnership capable of netting a combined total of 40 goals will be competing for second place, that is my argument.

Celtic are too strong and look on course to retain their Premiership title this season.

However, there is a fragility and nervousness within Rangers which can be exploited in the Premiership and in the Premier Sports Cup semi-final in January.

Aberdeen have a potent strike duo, but Rangers, who look laboured in their attempts to break down teams, don’t.

Striker Antonio Colak has scored 13 goals in 18 appearances for Rangers in all competitions.

However, no other striker is regularly hitting the back of the net for the Ibrox side.

Alfredo Morelos has scored just twice with Tom Lawrence on three goals.

Aberdeen’s Bojan Miovski celebrates after he scored a penalty against Livingston.

This weekend, the Dons travel to Rangers knowing a win would move them to within four points of the second-placed Ibrox side.

There are just four more matches before the Reds then face Rangers at Pittodrie on Tuesday December 20 after the shutdown for the World Cup.

Rangers were booed off the pitch by their supporters after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Livingston at Ibrox.

They were also booed after the 1-0 Premier Sports Cup win over Championship Dundee just days earlier.

Aberdeen have the opportunity to really pile pressure on Rangers who are already showing cracks.

Aberdeen’s Luis ‘Duk’ Lopes celebrates scoring to make it 2-1 at Motherwell with team-mates and fans.

Football is all about capitalising on opportunities – such as kicking through a perceived “glass ceiling” normally constructed by people outside a club as a way of keeping the status quo.

The staid and hackneyed dominance of the Celtic and Rangers duopoly has gone on for far too long.

For the good of the Scottish game, a club needs to break it.

Why not Aberdeen?

Ferguson making Italian impact

I’m delighted to see former Aberdeen midfielder Lewis Ferguson has settled into the Italian top-flight.

Ferguson suffered a frustrating start to his time at Bologna when a suspension picked up with Aberdeen rolled over and ruled him out of the opening games of Serie A.

Bologna manager Sinisa Mihajlovic, who signed Ferguson, was then sacked in September.

Lewis Ferguson in action for Bologna against Juventus. Image: Shutterstock.

However, Ferguson is now starting games under new manager Thiago Motta, the former Barcelona, Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain midfielder.

The Scotland international played his first full 90 minutes in Serie A in last week’s 3-2 loss to Napoli.

The 23-year-old then scored his first goal for Bologna in a 2-0 Serie A defeat of Lecce on Sunday.

Ferguson joined Bologna from Aberdeen in £3 million transfer this summer.

It was the right time for the midfielder to move on to try pastures new.

Scotland boss Steve Clarke recently admitted he left Ferguson out of the squad for the Nations League games last month to allow him to settle into life in Italy.

Now Ferguson has found his feet at Bologna, he will surely be back in Clarke’s next Scotland squad.

The boxing trilogy no-one wanted

WBC/lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury’s fight with Derek Chisora is the third bout in an unwanted trilogy.

Trilogy fights only work if the boxers have split the wins in the fights before – or they were close.

They don’t work and are not needed if one fighter has comprehensively won both.

Fury has already secured an emphatic points win in 2011 and a knockout victory in 2014 over Chisora.

So what’s the point in another rematch this December… Especially when the match-up needed by the heavyweight boxing world is Fury against WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk?