Date: 12th May 2007 at 10:59am
Written by:

Aberdeen need a win to secure European football next season but this could be the first season in 50 years that the Dons have not taken a single point off the Old Firm.

Vital Quotes:

Jimmy Calderwood:- ‘At present a point will not be good enough for us and we will have to win one of our last two games. That will not be easy but I would much rather be in our position than Hearts’ situation.

‘It is a mammoth task for us to take something from Rangers and Celtic but we have beaten them both before. To get into Europe, we have to do things for ourselves. We have a job to do.

‘I wouldn’t like to go through the season without taking something from at least one of them. That isn’t a record we want and it has not happened at this club for a long while.’

‘We came from behind when the pressure was on us at Tynecastle but played well at the same time which was good. We could easily be sitting here just one point ahead of them but we have a gap of four. Everything is in our own hands.’

‘It certainly doesn’t help us that Celtic have lost their last two games. They have a lot of good professionals and need to pick up again as they have a very hard cup final coming up against Dunfermline. Hopefully, it takes them another week to reach their usual high standards.’

‘As good a team as Celtic are, they allow us to have our share of the ball and play.

‘My players have to show they have the confidence to get on the ball and pass it about.

What I saw at Hearts last week was the best yet from this team as the pressure was on us.

‘Celtic are not playing at their best but they are a formidable side.

‘We know what we have to do which is win one of the last two games. If Hearts win against Hibs and Celtic are 1-0 up we know we are going to have to go for it.’

Jamie Smith:- ‘It would be great for everyone connected to the club if we got into Europe and if we get there, we are equipped to make an impact. The average age of our squad is not high and a lot of our players are just coming into their prime.

‘Russell Anderson and Barry Nicholson are 28 but they are among our oldest players. Even at that, we have plenty of seasoned professionals who have been playing for years. It doesn’t matter how we get there. Even if we limp over the finishing line, the important thing is we get the results we need.’

Karim Touzani:- ‘We need to secure a UEFA Cup place tomorrow so that it does not go down to the final day.

‘European football is so close now and it is in our own power to go out and grab it at Parkhead.

‘Aberdeen have been strong all season, now we must get the points to finish the job.

‘Celtic are league champions and Parkhead will be full, so it would be extra special to qualify for Europe in front of that crowd.

‘This is a massive game, the biggest of the season and we have to battle and play our way into Europe.’

Celtic FC Team News:

Neil Lennon will make his last appearance at Parkhead in an emotional goodbye.

The Celtic side will be taken by Garry Pendrey as Gordon Strachan is still in hospital recovering from a hip replacement.

Rumours coming through are that Mark Brown, brought from Inverness in the transfer window will make his debut in goal instead of Boruc.

Boruc, Caldwell, Perrier Doumbe, Pressley, McManus, Naylor, Nakamura, Gravesen, Miller, Lennon, Hartley, McGeady, Riordan, Vennegoor of Hesselink, Brown, O’Dea, Bjarnason, Jarosik.

Player to watch: Shunsuke Nakamura

The free kick specialist has punished the Dons before and will do again from any dead ball range. Lets hope Jimmy has learned and puts a man on the post. Calderwood has already confirmed that Ricky Foster will man mark the Japanese star.

Aberdeen FC Team News:

Aberdeen welcome back captain Russell Anderson but will be without Richie Byrne (naturally) Gary Dempsey and Dan Smith.

They are boosted by the news that Jonathan Kurrant has agreed a one year deal for next season.

berdeen Squad:- Langfield, Anderson, Diamond, Severin, Considine, Touzani, Hart, J Smith, Foster, Clark, Mackie, Miller, Brewster, Lovell, Soutar, Winter, Donald, Maguire.

Player to watch: Jamie Smith

Returning back to his best form in the Hearts match last week, Jamie will have to show it again if he is to get anything from Celtic’s excellent full back Lee Naylor.

Match Facts & Stats

Ref Watch:

Charlie Richmond:- Charlie’s ambition is referee the Scottish and League cup finals in the same season, and also to referee a Celtic V Rangers match. A good showing in this important match will be a big help in helping him to achieve that aim.

Next Fixtures:

Vital home match next Sunday V Rangers which is almost a sell out already.