Time is right for an Aberdeen victory over Celtic, says Dons legend Irvine

Former Aberdeen player Brian Irvine.

Dons legend Brian Irvine believes tomorrow is a good time for Aberdeen to meet Celtic.

The pair clash at Pittodrie with the Reds looking to end a streak of nine consecutive defeats against the Hoops.

Irvine became a legend in the Granite city making 383 appearances for the Dons between 1985 and 1997.

Irvine also scored the winning penalty in the 1990 Scottish Cup final shoot-out against Celtic at Hampden.

He believes tomorrow’s game is a good time for Aberdeen to face Brendan Rodgers’ men.

The Glasgow side have only won two of their last five games.

They’ve beaten Partick Thistle (3-2) in the Scottish Cup and Zenit St Petersburg (1-0) in the Europa League.

But they lost 3-0 to the Russians in Thursday’s last-32 second leg, and in their last two Premiership outings have drawn 0-0 at home to St Johnstone and lost 1-0 to Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

Irvine said: “Celtic have had the game over in Russia on Thursday and it’s a 1.30pm kick-off tomorrow, so there’s not a lot of recovery time for them.

“It’s a tough schedule for Celtic and that may be one of the things that’s in Aberdeen’s favour – the fact they have had that tough game on Thursday.

“Although Celtic haven’t lost much in recent years they’ve not been on a good run of form lately in the league. “I would say this is a good time to get them because they drew 0-0 with St Johnstone and lost at Kilmarnock recently as well.

“They’re not the invincible team that we associated with them last season.”

Although Aberdeen haven’t beaten Celtic since February 2016 Irvine believes they can do it and end the run tomorrow and narrow the gap on the Hoops to six points.

He also warned the Premiership champions that even if they are only slightly off the pace tomorrow Aberdeen will be ready to take advantage.

Irvine added: “Football being football anything can happen, it’s just who plays better on the day. “If for any reason Celtic are off the boil and Aberdeen play well I would think Aberdeen would get the result. “Celtic have a good record against Aberdeen and that’s the challenge for them to try to turn that around.”

The Dons will be without captain Graeme Shinnie tomorrow due to suspension.

While the creative Ryan Christie is on loan from Celtic and unable to feature against his parent club.

He said: “It’s a challenge at any football club to cope with players missing. “Aberdeen have a big squad and now is the time to test that squad because Shinnie and Christie are two of the best players in the team but unfortunately they are not available.

“They are a loss to Aberdeen, but as they say football is a squad game – that is a cliche – but if other players come into the team and do their job that shows the value of having a strong squad.

“Derek McInnes has built a good squad with players who can come in and do a good job in the absence of these players who won’t be playing on Sunday.”