Celtic star Jeremie Frimpong can win what could be key semi-final battle against Jonny Hayes

By John Reid

October 30, 2020

One of the more interesting battles that could take place at Hampden Park on Sunday in the Scottish Cup semi-final is one that may happen between a current Celtic player – Jeremie Frimpong, and a former Celtic player – Aberdeen’s Jonny Hayes.

Frimpong has had an up and down season so far. However, he has shone brightly for the Hoops in Europe. He turned in a game changing performance as a substitute in the Europa League qualifier against Riga.

Set up goal with pinpoint cross

The starlet was also excellent in the 2-2 draw with Lille. He set up Mo Elyounoussi’s goal with a pinpoint cross, and performed well with help from Ryan Christie and Celtic’s other forward thinking players.

Interestingly, both of Frimpong’s assists in Europe have resulted in goals for Elyounoussi. Now Frimpong returns to Hampden for the first time since he was sent-off in the memorable Betfred Cup Final of 2019. A game which saw Jonny Hayes line-up in the same Celtic side as Frimpong, on opposite sides of the park.

Now the players look set to be in direct competition with each other, with Hayes on the left-wing and Frimpong at right-back.

Hayes will no doubt be a threat on the wing. The former Hoops treble winner has racked up an impressive 118 assists in his career, 73 of them at Aberdeen.

Needs to get on the front foot from start of game

However, Frimpong is more than capable of nullifying the threat that Hayes possesses. To do that, he needs to repeat what he did against Lille and get on the front foot.

Celtic star Jeremie Frimpong is tackled / (Photo by Andrew Milligan/Pool via Getty Images)

That would force Hayes to concentrate on defending. It could also allow Frimpong to get in some of those dangerous crosses like he did in France.

If Frimpong can dominate the right-side of the pitch, as he is more than capable of doing, then Celtic will have a foothold in the game, but will also be taking away one of Aberdeen’s biggest threats. That could set the Hoops on the way to victory, and the Scottish Cup Final in December.

In other news, Mo Elyounoussi has overtaken James Tavernier in the Europa League performance index.