Derek McInnes has confirmed that six of his Aberdeen players won’t be fit enough to start Sunday’s Premiership game against Celtic through a lack of fitness.
Sam Cosgrove, Matty Kennedy, Curtis Main, Mikey Devlin, Greg Leigh, and Dean Campbell will all be unavailable to make McInnes’ starting XI. However, the Dons boss has an eye on getting them all ready for Halloween’s Scottish Cup semi-final against the Hoops.
Celtic will travel to Pittodrie this weekend looking to bounce back from our derby defeat on Saturday. That will then be followed by a Europa League trip to Lille before we come back and face the Dons in that semi-final cracker.
But McInnes won’t be rushing any of his injured stars back this weekend. Whilst he didn’t go as far as stating they will all miss the Pittodrie game outright, he did confirm none of them will start.
As quoted by the Evening Express, McInnes said: “These boys played 45 minutes in a practice match and then have a couple of training days before Celtic on Sunday.
“None of these boys will be ready to start that game, but we’ll have another practice match Tuesday and try to build the fitness that way. Sometimes needs must with injuries which might dictate things.
“A few of the boys have been out like Curtis, Sam, Mikey, Dean Campbell, Greg Leigh and Matty Kennedy have been, all these boys will be looking to build their fitness and fine-tune their work with that semi-final in mind.”
Dons picked up further injuries last night
As well as those not confirmed to start, there are still question marks over Jonny Hayes, Ryan Edmondson, Ross McCrorie, and Ash Taylor. Hayes was set to have a scan today whilst McInnes said the other three picked up knocks in Tuesday’s win over Hamilton (Daily Record).
It could easily be the case that Aberdeen are going to be fairly patched up for Celtic’s visit. However, we know better than to assume that means we’ll simply turn up and turn over McInnes’ side.
Celtic’s record at Pittodrie may be impressive in recent times (we’ve won all of our last eight trips there), but the Hoops will remember their latest visit more vividly than any of their others. A scrappy 2-1 win in the Granite City thanks to a late Kristoffer Ajer goal told a story. Celtic struggled on the day, and were in a better frame of mind than we are at the moment heading into the game.
Aberdeen have shown in the last few meetings against us that they can give us a real game of it when they’re up for it. That is, of course, provided they catch Celtic on an off-day. But we’ve had plenty of those this season.
Counting the cost of Aberdeen’s injury problems shouldn’t even come into Neil Lennon’s thinking. What will be will be in that regard. So long as we’re appropriately prepared and head into the contest with the right frame of mind then we should turn over anything Aberdeen can put out.
But, regardless, it’s looking more and more as if the Dons are struggling to get a consistent XI on the field this term.