Dons are punching above their weight but can hit KO blow
Bleary-eyed boxing fans will have stayed up until the crack of dawn this morning to tune into Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder knocking seven bells out of each other.
There’s time for a quick kip before the Betfred Cup Final but, unlike the big dudes in the ring in LA, it won’t be a heavyweight showdown at Hampden. It’s barely even a fair fight. You just need to take one look at the tale of the tape. Celtic’s wage bill is touching £ 59million. Aberdeen’s is around £8m.
The nine million quid Celts spent on Odsonne Edouard wou ld pay for Aberdeen’s new training ground.
This isn’t Fury v Wilder, financially this is Giant Haystacks versus Pee Wee Herman.
That doesn’t mean the Dandies can’t land a knockout blow. Of course they can.
Yet you can hear the knives being sharpened already.
If Aberdeen lose heavily then Derek McInnes will cop it from a grumpy support who are beginning to take his successful stewardship for granted.
It would be brutally unfair on tje Dons boss though.
Celtic don’t expect to get caned when they get hammered by the likes of PSG and Barcelona but it’s a different story when they dish it out to sides who are up against it just as much in Scotland.
McInnes is well aware he can’t play Celtic at their own game. It would be a kamikaze mission in the massive open spaces of Hampden. The Dons will need the old rope-a- dope routine if they are going to catch Celts on the chin.
There’s no shame in it either. There are no pictures chiselled into the side of the trophy, only the winner’s name.
Go direct, get the ball as far away from their own goal as possible, scrap for the second balls and take advantage of set-pieces.
Get up the park and then talented players such as Gary Ma ck ay- St even might be able to produce moments of magic.
It might not be pretty but it could be pretty effective.
When Celtic do have the ball, defend deeper than Jacques Cousteau wearing a pair of concrete slippers.
There will need to be a red wall in front of their penalty box.
The control led performance from Celtic in Norway during the week was a mark of a side who are in the flow right now.
But Aberdeen are a better side than Rosenborg. The Trondheim men would struggle to finish in the top three or four in Scotland so the Europa League clash shouldn’t be something that scares the Dons.
Aberdeen might be massive underdogs but it doesn’t mean they should accept defeat.
These are tricky times for McInnes with Rangers up in midweek. His men will need to come out swinging.
FINAL ROUND gaffers Brendan Rodgers and Derek McInnes