Can Kyogo achieve his clean sweep against Aberdeen? ACSOM’s Big Match Preview

After disposing of St Mirren in the Scottish Cup last weekend, Celtic return to league duty on Saturday with the visit of Aberdeen to Celtic Park.  The Hoops have already beaten Saturday’s opponents twice this season, 2-0 on the opening day at home and 1-0 at Pittodrie back in December, and will have their eyes set on another confidence-boosting win ahead of next weekend’s League Cup final at Hampden.

There was a collective groan of concern around Celtic Park about a quarter-of-an-hour into last Saturday’s cup tie with St Mirren as 22-goal striker Kyogo left the field in some discomfort, clutching his shoulder.

Two minutes later, the groans turned to cheers as Daizen Maeda set Celtic on their way to a 5-1 victory, and Oh’s maiden goal in the Hoops late in the second half enabled the home support to leave with more confidence in the team’s attacking options sans Kyogo.


The Japanese forward has been in sensational form this season, averaging 1.06 goals per 90 minutes in the league.  While Maeda and Oh’s goal-scoring contributions on Saturday were most welcome, the news from Friday’s pre-match press conference that Kyogo is back in training and available for the Aberdeen game has been met with a sense of relief.

Even when not scoring, and those games have been few and far between this season, Kyogo offers a threat with his intelligent movement and link-up play that has become integral to the way that Ange wants his team to play.

Having scored against everyone in the league this season except Aberdeen, tomorrow could present Kyogo with the opportunity to claim a clean sweep and bag at least one goal against each Premiership opponent.

But, with the Cup final on the horizon, could Ange be tempted to put Kyogo’s personal clean sweep ambitions on hold and keep his star striker wrapped in cotton wool for the showpiece event? A home fixture against a struggling opponent could be a good occasion to give Oh his first start.


Not for the first time this season, a familiar face will be in the opposing dugout on Saturday as Barry Robson continues his second spell as interim manager at Aberdeen.

The Dons’ temporary gaffer is fondly remembered for his combative midfield performances during his time in the hoops under Gordon Strachan and even scored with his very first touch of the ball in Celtic colours against, of all teams, Aberdeen.

However, he is best remembered for his role in the Glasgow Derby double-header in April 2008.  Robson laid down an early marker in the opening clash, a 2-1 win for Celtic, with a strong challenge on Christian Dailly that let the visitors know they would not have things their own way this time around and scored a decisive penalty in the second fixture as the Hoops went on to claim the title for Tommy Burns.

Aberdeen’s win against Motherwell two weeks ago put an end to a run of 5 successive defeats that included thumpings at the hands of Hearts and Hibs, and a demoralising Cup loss to Darvel.  Robson clearly has a job on his hands to turn Aberdeen’s season around, starting after Saturday’s game at Celtic Park, of course.

The Bhoys are unbeaten in 19 games against Aberdeen stretching back to May 2018 and have won the last 6 in-a-row at Celtic Park.

Fun blog fact: The last time Celtic lost to Aberdeen at home in the league was the day after I got married.  I’m not planning on getting married again anytime soon, hopefully Celtic aren’t planning on losing to Aberdeen anytime soon either.


Kevin McCluskie

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