Date: 31st August 2012 at 12:59am
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After 4 league fixtures, August brought only 5 points to Aberdeen. The games were far from easy however, with the Dons kicking off the campaign away to the league champions Celtic. Bar a horrendous mistake from keeper Jamie Langfield the Dons would have taken a point in what is the most difficult fixture in the SPL this season. Points apart, the performance of some players was the first indication that this season could have a bright future. Next up was Ross County at Pittodrie for the most dominant performance in many seasons that unbelievably ended in a 0-0 draw. This was followed by another fantastic performance away to St Johnstone that rightly saw Aberdeen pick up all 3 points in a 2-1 victory that if there was any justice in football would have seen the Dons win by a 4 or 5 goal margin. Most recently however the Dons were back to their old ways at home to Hearts, failing to take advantage of total dominance and but for inches would have lost in classic fashion in the final minute. Even Hearts manager John McGlynn admitted it would have been the greatest injustice he’d seen in football had the game not finished 0-0.

Aberdeen vs St Mirren

So after three terrific dominant performances on the trot in the league the Dons open September against St Mirren at Pittodrie on Saturday. The Buddies sit 2 places above Aberdeen in the league through goal difference. The visitors’ opening fixtures however looked much different to Aberdeen’s. A last minute goal salvaged a point for St Mirren on the opening day at home to struggling Inverness. This was followed up with victory at lowly Dundee and a loss at home to Hibs before scraping another draw away to Motherwell with another last minute equaliser. If Aberdeen perform how they have done in their last 3 fixtures then a win is definitely on the cards. An early breakthrough could see it turn into a rout. The same defensive performance as was consistent through August should guarantee a clean sheet.

Inverness CT vs Aberdeen

Following the international break the Dons face Inverness at the Caledonian Stadium. Thistle have struggled so far this season and if reports and Terry Butcher are to be believed, the Rangers saga has left them in trouble financially. Why the club would not simply re-adjust to the current climate than try to compete in the SPL with unsustainable finances is anybody’s guess and any club that goes into administration for this reason deserves it. Inverness sit in 10th on just 3 points having faced St Mirren and Hearts away and Kilmarnock and Celtic at home. Their highlight of the season so far was the comeback at Tynecastle where they came from 2 goals down to draw with the equaliser coming deep into stoppage time. The biggest threat the Dons will have to be wary of is midfielder Andrew Shinnie, with 5 goals in all competitions so far this season. The Caledonian Stadium has a reputation as a happy hunting ground for Aberdeen with last minute equalisers and winners galore in recent years. The last time the 2 sides met in Inverness the Dons ran out 2-0 winners and a similar performance to what we’ve seen so far this season should turn out the same result.

Aberdeen vs Motherwell

Arguably the trickiest fixture facing Aberdeen in September is the visit of Motherwell. The Steelmen sit in 5th in the league on 6 points and haven’t lost in the league so far this season. However the results don’t look so good on paper with draws against Ross County, St Johnstone and St Mirren and a victory at Kilmarnock. After only a month Motherwell have already played 8 games due to their involvement in the Champions League and subsequently the Europa League. The buzz of their involvement in the Champions League has completely dissipated now they have also failed to qualify the Europa League group stages after defeats in both legs to Levante. After their outstanding performance in the league last season, morale is low at Fir Park and Aberdeen are certainly in with a better shout of a win in this fixture this season than they were last campaign. Motherwell still hold a grudge over the supposed injustice during the Scottish Cup QF at Fir Park last season where the Dons scored after a disputed corner decision. The jury is out on this one for now.

Aberdeen vs Hibernian

The Dons’ final league fixture of September is at home to Hibs who this season sport the oddest shade of green in the history of football. At a distance the Hibs kit resembles the aftermath of a dodgy curry but from a closer view does indeed appear to be a dodgy green. Hibs have landed themselves arse first in 2nd place on 7 points at the end of August after opening the campaign with a heavy 3-0 defeat at Dundee United. This was followed by a draw at home to Hearts in the Edinburgh derby which attracted a mere 13,000 spectators. A comfortable 2-1 victory at St Mirren was followed by a 2-0 win over St Johnstone and it appeared Hibs were really beginning to build some momentum. The Hibees travelled to Dumfries to take on Queen of the South in the League Cup and came away in one less competition as Queens defeated them 2-0. Aberdeen should take nothing less than a draw from this fixture but depending on which Hibs and Aberdeen teams show up this could be a comfortable and professional victory for the Dons.

Position come the end of September – 3rd, at a minimum…providing the reds do the business this Saturday. If not it could be a long month that will see Aberdeen drop further behind their rivals. Similar performances to August however should see the Dons rise up the league and establish themselves as one of the teams to beat this season.

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