Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has opened up on his injury concerns ahead of Sunday.
The Dons boss appears pretty certain that he’ll be missing as many as three of his key players for the Scottish Cup semi-final clash. Added to that, two other stars have only just shrugged off recent knocks.
This is combined with the fact that Celtic are slowly but surely getting players back on form. The likes of Ryan Christie and Tom Rogic in recent times have returned to the fold. The Hoops have plenty of depth to them, something Aberdeen could lack this weekend.
And, speaking on the official Aberdeen website, McInnes touched on how his team is on the injury front.
“There’s been a couple of wee knocks. Greg Stewart picked up a knock on Saturday, but he’s fine. Connor McLennan landed on his shoulder, but he’ll be fine.
“Dean Campbell, who missed the game on Saturday, took a knock against Motherwell and he’ll hopefully be in full training tomorrow. Shinnie’s suspended with Shay and Gary are out.”
Aberdeen lacking in quality replacements
McInnes will continue to sound confident in the run-up, but Aberdeen will struggle for genuine high-quality replacements.
Niall McGinn you would expect will play in Mackay-Steven’s role. He did score at Ibrox in the quarter-final, but seldom hurts Celtic these days.
The injury to Shay Logan could mean Dominic Ball gets shoved to right-back. This is something that Celtic can seriously exploit in Ball’s lack of pace. Depending on who plays down the left, they have to be direct.
And, of course, the standout is Graeme Shinnie not being available. The Dons don’t have a natural replacement to come in, but veteran Stephen Gleeson would appear to be the most realistic choice.
Interestingly, it’s also a boost for Celtic to hear that influential talents such as Greg Stewart and Connor McLennan have both been struggling this week too. Question marks could hover over whether both are 100%.
This is looking like the weakest Aberdeen team we’ll have played all season. It’s vital the players don’t get complacent, however, and that will be Lennon’s big task between now and Sunday.