Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes has told the Scottish media this week that he sees this game against Rangers at Pittodrie as the perfect to “do damage” to one of his team’s rivals for the Scottish Premiership title. Steven Gerrard’s Gers are currently second place in the Scottish Premiership table, one place and two points above the Dons.
Aberdeen are unbeaten in six games in all competitions, and head into this game on the back of 2-1 away win at Hibernian in the league last weekend. Rangers have won their last three in all competitions, and come into this game on the back of a somewhat controversial 4-0 win over St Mirren at Ibrox at the weekend. The Light Blues were awarded four penalties in the game, three of which were successfully converted, but many observers felt that some of the refereeing in the game was not of the highest standard.
Aberdeen vs Rangers Prediction: Dons 1-0 Gers
Our prediction for this game is that Aberdeen will win it 1-0, mainly thanks to having home advantage. Rangers were not that convincing against St Mirren at the weekend, despite the emphatic scoreline. Aberdeen always tend to be well-motivated for games against the Light Blues, with their supporters often affecting to despise the blue half of the Old Firm more than Celtic fans do. A passionate atmosphere in the north east will help the Dons secure a first-half lead, which they will then battle hard to hang onto, and ultimately disappoint Gerrard and his Gers.
Our recommended tip: Aberdeen 1X2
Our featured tip for this game comes from Coral, who are offering very tempting odds of 3/1 on Aberdeen to win on the 1X2 market. To us, those odds look a little long, especially given Aberdeen’s record against the Gers this season. The Dons are also in good form, having not lost in six games, while Gerrard’s team needed the referee’s help, in the shape of four penalties, to beat St Mirren at the weekend. A price of 3/1 offers punters plenty of good value and looks a real opportunity for a winning bet to us.
These two sides have played each other on three previous occasions in the 2018/19 season, with two of those games in the Scottish Premiership, and one in the semi-final of the Scottish League Cup.
The first meeting of the season was in the Scottish Premiership on August 5 at Pittodrie. It ended in a 1-1 draw, with Aberdeen scoring an equaliser in injury time at the end of the game. The second meeting was the Scottish League Cup semi-final at Hampden Park on October 28. Aberdeen won the game 1-0. The third meeting was in the league at Ibrox on December 5, and was won 1-0 by the Dons.
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Players to watch: Graeme Shinnie & Alfredo Morelos
Dons skipper Graeme Shinnie remains a key part of the Aberdeen midfield, but there is still some doubt about his future at the club. He is out of contract in the summer, and talks are set to take place soon about whether or not he will be extending his stay at the club. Shinnie will need to put all the speculation to one side and produce a typically committed performance if he wants his team to leapfrog Rangers in the Premiership table.
Rangers forward Alfredo Morelos could be a man to keep a close eye on at Pittodrie, particularly when it comes to discipline. The uniquely charged atmosphere of an Aberdeen versus Rangers game seems to affect the Colombian’s mindset, as he has been sent off in the two prior league clashes between these teams in 2018/19. He has received three red cards in total this season, but has also scored 21 goals in 36 games in all competitions.