Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes is confident the Scottish Premiership’s most creative player Niall McGinn has the ability to unlock the league’s best defence at Parkhead on Sunday.
Northern Ireland international McGinn has more assists to his name than any other player in the Scottish top flight having set up 11 goals this term.
Manager McInnes knows former Celtic player McGinn will be a key player if the Dons are to defeat the Hoops on Sunday to throw the title chase wide open.
But the Aberdeen manager knows his attacking players will have their work cut out to penetrate a Celtic defence which has only conceded 13 goals this season.
He said: “We are playing against a team that doesn’t concede too often so when opportunities do come along our forward players are going to be important.
“Niall has played his part this season – the statistics show that.
“He is good for a goal and creates chances, as do others in the team.
“We have players who are in good form at the minute. We are going to do all we can to maintain that form.”
McInnes, meanwhile, does not believe Celtic’s trip to the San Siro to face Inter Milan will hand the Dons an extra advantage this weekend.
The Hoops take on Roberto Mancini’s side in the final 32 of the Europa League this evening following last week’s thrilling 3-3 draw at Parkhead.
Ronny Deila’s side will have little time to gear up for the visit of Aberdeen on Sunday but the Hoops have shown they can balance their Europa League and Premiership commitments having won all of their five previous domestic matches on the back of European football.
And the Aberdeen manager has warned his players not to expect to come up against a tired Celtic side.
McInnes said: “In terms of their match against Inter Milan, we can’t affect that so whether they win, lose or draw we expect a tough game no matter what the result is.”
Ash Taylor stepped up his return from a knee injury by playing 90 minutes for the Aberdeen under-20s in a 2-0 win against Dundee United at Stark’s Park yesterday.
Cammy Smith and Jamie Masson were on target for the young Dons.