Celtic-Aberdeen should've taken place tonight; SPFL missed opportunity

By David Walton

December 16, 2020

These two games in hand Celtic have are starting to get annoying.

The last thing we want as Hoops fans is for this to drag out. A combination of Boli’s breaching of Covid guidelines combined with our Scottish Cup exploits have left us trailing. Not just in points but in games played.

As things stand, we sit 13 points behind Rangers. It could look a lot better if those two games were out of the road and it was down to seven. Okay, maybe not a lot better. But it wouldn’t look as grim at least.

The two fixtures Celtic have outstanding are home games vs Aberdeen and St Mirren respectively.

It’s difficult to know where those games can be fitted in. Celtic don’t have a free midweek date for at least a couple of months. We have matches every three days until February after this weekend’s game against Hearts. That’s not including the week where we’re away for a training break in January (Edinburgh Live).

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And that’s why the SPFL missed a good opportunity for tonight. With the Betfred Cup taking place, now would’ve been the perfect date for our rearranged game with the Dons.

Celtic vs Aberdeen needs to be fit in somewhere

Both ourselves and Aberdeen have been knocked out of the competition. That’s left us with a free week to potentially have gotten this game out of the road. Given the Covid situation and no guarantees a third wave won’t happen, we need to play when possible.

Sure, it tightens up our schedule, but rather now than in March/April when we get to crunch time.

Some will perhaps argue that it would’ve hampered prep for the Scottish Cup. I can understand that, but at the same time, we have the squad to deal with it. There’s no reason we couldn’t put Aberdeen to the sword then use the next three days to prep for the Jambos.

Ryan Christie celebrates for Celtic against Aberdeen / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It’s difficult to really understand why the SPFL didn’t schedule the game for this evening. It just feels like the right time to get it over with. We’ve been out of the competition for several weeks now, so there’s been plenty of time to rearrange it.

Perhaps this could be down to contractual obligations with Premier Sports. Given they have the Betfred Cup rights, it could be the case that league games contractually can’t be played. But that’s just speculation – we’re not privy to that.

This was a missed opportunity though. Surely we all need to take whatever chance we can get to get these games played. Tonight was one.

Besides, narrowing the gap even if only slightly would still have been welcome.

In other news, we discuss why Patrick Roberts would be a January game-changer.