Dons are punch­ing above their weight but can hit KO blow

Sunday Mail (UK) - - Mail Sport -

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

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