Since the SPL began in 1998, Celtic have inflicted some horrific and traumatising defeats on Aberdeen.
October 16th, 1999 – Celtic 7-0 Aberdeen. December 11th, 1999 – Aberdeen 0-6 Celtic. December 6th, 2000 – Celtic 6-0 Aberdeen. December 3rd, 2002 – Celtic 7-0 Aberdeen. February 10th, 2008 – Aberdeen 1-5 Celtic. November 6th, 2010 – Celtic 9-0 Aberdeen.
It’s a list to strike fear into the hearts of all Aberdeen fans around the globe.
And on top of that, Aberdeen haven’t beaten Celtic since January 2009, 14 games ago. During that run they have played them at Pittodrie six times and conceded three or more goals on four occasions.
In recent times, however, Aberdeen have shown some signs of improvement against the Hoops. In the last four meetings between the sides they have still lost three and drawn one, but they haven’t conceded more than two goals in any of those games and they have lost by just a single strike in all three of the defeats.
Their 1-0 reverse at Celtic Park on the opening day of the season was even more unlucky given the nature of the loss – goalkeeper Jamie Langfield fumbled a seemingly harmless cross by Kris Commons over the line with just ten minutes remaining in a match that Aberdeen looked certain to take a point from after a solid, if uninspiring, performance.
And until two weeks ago, that defeat was still Aberdeen’s only one of the season. Their 2-1 beating by Ross County at the Global Energy Stadium took the shine off that record slightly, but they can still boast just two losses in 13 games so far – the same number as Saturday’s opponents.
Remarkably, victory for the Dons this weekend will take them above Neil Lennon’s men in the table and could put them top of the SPL for at least a few hours, so there should be no lack of motivation for Craig Brown’s men.
There is also no lack of motivation to back the Dandies in the 3-way betting market. You will get a great price of 5/1 for Aberdeen to humble the Hoops and I suspect that this will prove pretty popular among punters this weekend.
But arguably even more tempting are odds of 5/2 on a draw. Aberdeen and Celtic have drawn ten matches between them this season (Aberdeen six, Celtic four) and as pointed out previously, Brown’s men were very unlucky not to leave Celtic Park with a point earlier in the campaign.
On top of that, Lennon’s men have drawn their last two SPL matches, against Dundee United and St Johnstone, and they are winless in their last three.
New customers who sign up with bwin qualify for a free £20 bet and using this to back a draw at Pittodrie at 5/2 stand to win £70 if successful.
On Saturday, the Parkhead side are attempting to avoid becoming the first Celtic team in over 12 years to go four SPL games in a row without a win – a fate last suffered under the management of Kenny Dalglish in April 2000 – and the bookies are backing them to achieve this, pricing an away win at 11/20.
If Celtic can reproduce their Champions League form domestically then they should have too much for Aberdeen, but if they reproduce their recent SPL form again, the Reds could well prove great value for money and go some way towards banishing the most painful of memories to the history books.