Aberdeen can capitalise on Celtic’s recent defensive vulnerability to reach the Scottish Cup final.
Celtic have leaked eight goals in the last three games ahead of Sunday’s semi at Hampden, three to the Dons.
That goals-against column could yet go up higher tomorrow when the Hoops travel to France to face Lille in the Europa League.
In-form Lille are joint top of the Ligue 1 table alongside champions Paris St Germain.
Lille have scored nine goals in their last three games and over-ran Sparta Prague 4-1 in the Czech Republic last week.
Regardless of whether Celtic boss Neil Lennon has utilised a back three or four, this defence has looked fragile.
An uncharacteristic nervousness in Celtic’s creaking backline was shown in Aberdeen’s second goal in the thrilling 3-3 draw at Pittodrie on Sunday.
Indecision from Shane Duffy was punished by Scott Wright, who must surely start at Hampden after a superb shift off the bench against Celtic.
Duffy failed to clear the ball and Wright won possession before squaring to Sam Cosgrove. Kris Ajer wasn’t tight enough to returning striker Cosgrove, who was allowed time to shoot.
Celtic keeper Scott Bain could only parry the shot out. It was a catalogue of mistakes that Aberdeen clinically punished.
The Dons can do the same again at the national stadium.
In the build-up to Sunday’s semi there has been a prevailing misconception that all the pressure is on Celtic.
That they will be the only team feeling the heat after recent poor results and that somehow this is a “free hit” for Derek McInnes’s Dons.
Wrong. There is just as much pressure on the Dons as Aberdeen is a club that should be in finals and winning trophies on a regular basis.
Aberdeen also proved on Sunday they are just as good, if not better, than the Hoops.
There is real expectation on a Dons side that is looking increasingly strong to realise their potential by securing a final slot on December 20 – then go on to win the trophy for the first time since 1990.
For the sake of Scottish football, Aberdeen need to end Celtic’s recent dominance of domestic honours.
The Hoops are gunning for a 12th straight trophy, which is not a good look for Scottish football.
Such a monopoly on honours also becomes stale for supporters other than Celtic’s.
Aberdeen are the club that has come closest to breaking that dominance, having faced Celtic in three finals in recent years.
They lost both the League Cup final and Scottish Cup final to the Hoops in 2017-18 and then the League Cup final again in 2018-19.
The Scottish Cup final of 2017, where they lost to an injury-time winner from Tom Rogic, was particularly painful.
However, lessons have been learned, experiences banked. Now is the time for Aberdeen to end Celtic’s dominance and mark their own resurgence.