Dons legend Drew Jarvie hopes they can get closer to the Old Firm this season and says opening with a win against Rangers would be the perfect start.
Aberdeen host the Gers on Saturday in the Premiership’s curtain-raiser.
The Reds haven’t beaten the Ibrox side on the opening day of the season since a 3-1 success at Pittodrie on August 13 1977.
Jarvie bagged a brace that day with strike partner Joe Harper also on target.
After finishing fourth last season and being 23 points adrift of Rangers, Jarvie hopes Aberdeen can get closer to Steven Gerrard’s side this term.
The 71-year-old, who starred for the Dons from 1972 to 1982 and was later a coach at Pittodrie, said: “Playing Rangers is always a good opening game and it gives Aberdeen a gauge of where they are in comparison.
“Aberdeen have had a few friendlies and it’s good to get those games and the results in them don’t really matter.
“It’s just about getting the players up to scratch and getting as much game time as possible.
“It’s a good opener and a test for Aberdeen.
“I’m hopeful that the Dons can compete and get a bit closer to Rangers and Celtic this season.
“Last season there was like three leagues within the Premiership. Rangers and Celtic going for the title, Aberdeen and Motherwell going for third and fourth and then a gap to the rest.
“Don’t get me wrong it’s going to be tough because Celtic and Rangers have great spending power.
“But at home especially Aberdeen can compete with them and take points off them. Last season Celtic came to Pittodrie and put four past Aberdeen, you don’t want that happening again.
“In terms of trying to get closer to Celtic and Rangers other teams, not just Aberdeen need to take points off them.
“Motherwell had a good season last season so maybe they can take some points off them.
“Dundee United are back up and Hibs are there as well so if these teams can take point off Celtic and Rangers it would help.
“If you can start with a win against Rangers it gives everyone a lift and belief.
“It’s important to take points off the Old Firm and it helps everyone in the league if a few teams can do that because it makes it closer.”
The opening couple of months of the Premiership season are going to be played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Jarvie appreciates it may take players some time to adapt the new normal, but doesn’t think it should affect them too much.
The man who scored 136 goals in 386 appearances for the Reds added: “You have practice matches and friendlies where there’s nobody watching.
“But I suppose it might be difficult for them, you can get momentum from the crowd.
“If you’re having shots and winning corners and things like that momentum starts to build with the crowd getting behind you and on top of the other team.
“So you maybe miss that a little but the players will just have to go out and focus as best they without the crowd and try to get the result.
“It’s the same for both sides and the players just need to try to put it to the back of their minds and do their best.”
Aberdeen look set to have just one new signing in their ranks for the Premiership opener against Rangers.
The financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic means Derek McInnes has only been able to bring Jonny Hayes back to Pittodrie following his departure from Celtic.
Jarvie hopes the Irishman can recapture the form of his first spell with Aberdeen from 2012 to 2017.
He said: “It’s good to get Jonny back. During his time at Celtic he hasn’t had as much football as he would have liked.
“So I hope he’s at a similar level to when he left, which I’m he will be, because if he is it will be great for Aberdeen to have him playing at that level again.
“But three years is a long time without playing as many games as he would have liked.
“He has been training and playing with good players at Celtic so hopefully he can show that with Aberdeen when the season starts.
“Jonny was a great player in his first spell and understandably a fans favourite and it would be great if he could back to that level.”