Loan signings Fraser Hornby, Florian Kamberi and Callum Hendry could put a stop to Aberdeen’s striker goal drought and help pile the pressure on Celtic.
Aberdeen have squandered opportunities this season to capitalise on Celtic dropping points.
That happened at the weekend when the Reds were held 0-0 at Livingston as Celtic lost 2-1 to St Mirren.
The Dons created clear chances against Livi and, if they had a striker that took one, it would be three points gained on Celtic, instead of one.
The way the Parkhead side have been playing, Aberdeen must be confident of taking them on.
Celtic’s performances have been so weak and lacklustre. It is definitely not too late to push for second if Hornby, Kamberi, Hendry or anyone else delivers the goals regularly.
There is still plenty of pressure to be applied on the defending champions.
Securing Hornby on loan from French top-flight side Stade de Reims until the end of the season is a very positive move for Aberdeen.
He is the all time top goal-scorer for the Scotland Under-21s and comes with a strong pedigree at Everton, who received £1.7 million for him last summer.
Hornby will be hungry to make an impact in the Premiership – and score.
Meanwhile, Kamberi, who had a good two years at Easter Road, knows the division and will be eager to impress following a disappointing loan at Rangers and having fallen down the pecking order at St Gallen in Switzerland.
Hendry, similarly, son of ‘Braveheart’ Colin, has found himself out in the cold under Callum Davidson at McDiarmid Park. All will hopefully bring a freshness to the attack which can give everyone a lift.
Aberdeen have used the loan market very effectively in recent seasons, with former loan star James Maddison now a regular for Leicester City in the English Premier League.
Ryan Christie also made a real impact on loan from Celtic, and current players Greg Leigh and Tommie Hoban initially came on loan.
Chances are being created by the Dons – they just need confident players in front of goal to take them.
After selling Sam Cosgrove, the club’s leading scorer for the previous two seasons, to Birmingham, it was vital Aberdeen bolstered their squad before the January window closed.
Aberdeen had to cash in on Cosgrove this window.
The money from the transfer will fill some of the financial black hole which has built up during the pandemic.
The damaging, and ongoing, financial losses due to the absence of supporters will have played a part in their decision.
Most clubs were hoping to get supporters back into stadiums around about last September.
Now it is looking like fans will not be back before the end of the season.
Maybe if the club had not been suffering losses due to the pandemic, they might have fought a little harder to keep Cosgrove.
However, at the same time Cosgrove had not been looking like the player he was at his peak when he couldn’t stop scoring and netted 23 goals last season.
He had gone through a drought this campaign.
It is excellent business to land £2m for a player who cost the club only £30,000 from Carlisle United in January 2018.
Cosgrove’s exit comes as no surprise as Aberdeen accepted a bid from French second-tier side Guingamp in the last window for him.
The striker turned down that move, but there had been interest in him from a number of clubs.
If cutting edge is now there, Aberdeen have enough to put away Livingston tonight
Livingston’s form under new manager David Martindale has been exceptional, but Aberdeen are capable of ending it tonight.
To go 13 games undefeated in all competitions is a superb run of form from Livingston.
During that run they have secured a Betfred Cup final slot and also drawn twice with Celtic.
Livingston have also progressed into the top six.
Aberdeen were held 0-0 at the Tony Macaroni Arena on Saturday, but created enough chances to suggest they can end Livi’s unbeaten run at Pittodrie tonight. They just need that cutting edge.
Defensively the Dons have been rock solid and have registered three clean sheets in a row since that 4-1 loss at Ross County.
The defenders have delivered a strong reaction to that defeat in Dingwall, which began badly in conceding a goal in the opening minute.
The Dons defenders are laying the foundations for Aberdeen to secure wins, but the registering two 0-0 stalemates in succession tells its own story.
Even in the 2-0 defeat of Motherwell prior to the goal-less double header, it was defenders who pitched in with both goals.
Livingston are just eight points behind Aberdeen in the Premiership and, if they win tonight, that will be slashed to five, which will give them a real boost they can push the Dons.
However, an Aberdeen win opens up an 11-point gap, which would be a big statement at this stage in the season.