Aberdeen face a crucial 90 minutes at Parkhead when they take on Celtic on Sunday.
The two managers have differing views on quite how important the match is for the Dons, with Celtic boss Ronny Deila saying that Aberdeen cannot afford to lose the match, meanwhile, Dons boss Derek McInnes believes there is too many points still available for any match to be ‘must win’.
Whether or not the match is ‘must win’ for the Dons, it is certainly 90 of the most important minutes of Aberdeen’s season.
Celtic team news
- Leigh Griffiths is a doubt for the match with the ankle injury that ruled him out of Thursday night’s clash with Inter Milan in the San Siro on Thursday night with an ankle injury picked up in training.
- Left-back Emilio Izaguirre had his hand stamped on during the Inter game but manager Ronny Deila is hopeful he will play.
- Midfielder Charlie Mulgrew (hamstring tendon) and right-back Mikael Lustig (ankle) remain out.
Aberdeen team news
- Ashton Taylor returns to Aberdeen’s squad after recovering from a knee injury and playing 90 minutes for the under-20s in midweek.
- Jonny Hayes (hamstring), Nicky Low (groin) and Russell Anderson (knee) remain out.
Ronny Deila says
“In my opinion this is the most important game we have had so far this season.
“The league is everything. It is going to be hard to reach us if we win.
“The pressure is on both teams but Aberdeen has to win, maybe a draw, to stay in the fight for the championship so this is a very important game.
“If we win we put ourselves in a very good position.
“And with the progress we are making I would be very disappointed if we lost the points we were ahead.
“But again we have to win, and it is going to be tough.
“They are a very good team, with speed, good on the counter attacks, they have played together for a long time, they have consistency.
“You can see they have built from where they were so we have to put in a very good performance.”
Derek McInnes says
“He is entitled to his opinion but I find it quite strange when there are still 33 points available to us after Sunday’s game,” McInnes told RedTV.
“From my point of view, win lose or draw, there is still a lot to play for.
“I think it would be wrong to dismiss the challenge of everybody else and it would be wrong to suggest it would be a formality after that (a Celtic win).
“Talk of must-win games at both ends of the table, for me, normally comes after the split.
“We are aware that there is not a lot of room for error but I think it would be wrong to say that with so much football still to play.
“I believe the team is capable of going there and winning and I know the team believe that as well.
“Every time I have taken my team to Parkhead we have given a good account of ourselves. I’m confident that regardless of who we are playing, we will bring a performance that can help us win the game.
“But we also have to bring organisation and the concentration that is required against teams who have got good players and Celtic have got good players.
“Every game is a challenge. Nobody is going to give us points, every opposition is trying to stop you winning and Celtic are no different.
“We accept it is going to be a tough game for us but it will be equally tough for them.”
Celtic provisional squad
Gordon, Denayer, Matthews, Izaguirre, Ambrose, Van Dijk, Johansen, Tonev, Bitton, Johansen, Armstrong, Brown, Forrest, Commons, Scepovic, Mackay-Steven, Stokes, Henderson, McGregor, Wakaso, Griffiths, Guidetti, Fisher, Zaluska.
Aberdeen provisional squad
Brown, Logan, Daniels, Taylor, Reynolds, Considine, Robertson, Flood, McLean, Robson, Rooney, Pawlett, Smith, McGinn, Goodwillie, Jack, Masson, Shaughnessy, Shankland, Wright, Langfield.