Aberdeen head into their Scottish Cup clash over Celtic looking to stop the Hoops’ pursuit of a treble treble. It’ll be quite a task but a chance to be potential favourites in the final awaits the winner.
Whoever succeeds at Hampden on Sunday afternoon will face either an out of form Hearts team or Championship side Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the final. The victor of this semi-final will no doubt be the favourite for the trophy in May.
The Dons have only lifted silverware once in McInnes’ reign at Pittodrie. They’ll be hoping that they can beat the history books on Sunday afternoon.
Celtic on top in recent times
Celtic generally have the upper hand in this fixture. Since 2010, Aberdeen have won just five times against the Hoops, losing out on 31 occasions and drawing just twice. In the last 15 Aberdeen have won just once, a 1-0 victory at Parkhead back in May last year. Celtic have won an overwhelming 13 of those 15 clashes.
The men in red have enjoyed great success over Rangers in Glasgow this season, winning on three separate occasions. They’ll need to turn in a similar performance against the Scottish Cup holders, but again stats are not in their favour.
The Pittodrie side have to be better in front of goal. They’ve only scored more than one on four occasions against the Hoops since 2014. They haven’t scored on their three trips to Glasgow to face Celtic this season, although scoring three at Pittodrie against them will give McInnes some hope.
Don’t write the Dons off yet
McInnes is no stranger to facing Hoops boss Neil Lennon, coming up against him 19 times, the third most of any manager he has faced. Their head to head record is very even, with eight wins each and three draws.
The Aberdeen manager has had his number in recent times though. In the eight times they faced each other whilst Lennon was Hibs boss, the Northern Irishman came out trumps once.
Perhaps more importantly, McInnes has got the better of him in cup competitions, notably beating Lennon’s Hibee’s side at Hampden in 2017. He defeated the Celtic boss during his first stint at Parkhead in Scottish Cup action too, winning a fifth round tie in 2014. That result, however, is just one of two times the Dons have beaten the Hoops in Glasgow over an 11 year period.
Elsewhere, Andrew Considine looks set to make his 28th appearance in red against Celtic since 2011. Niall McGinn will also be looked to for inspiration, having scored eight times since January.
There are plenty of stats flying about ahead of Sunday’s clash, both positive and negative for the Dons. Aberdeen’s chances will not be affected by them though, with the talking very much needing to be done on the park.
Having been beaten in their last three cup outings against Celtic, the Dons will hope history doesn’t repeat itself.