Aberdeen are 7th in the table with 29pts with Livingston and St Mirren (in 8th and 9th) also on 29pts.
However Aberdeen are 3rd best for NP xGD (non penalty expected goal difference) with an xGD of +0.28 per game. Ahead of Hibs in 4th who are on +0.09.
In the 6 game rolling average NP xGD graph below (left) Aberdeen have been ahead of Hearts all season until recently.
Aberdeen's good NP xGD performance is down to their NP xGA (non penalty expected goals against) where they have a per game average of 0.82. This is 3rd and just behind Rangers who have 0.76. Aberdeen are closer to Rangers in 2nd than Hibs in 4th with Hibs on 1.08. (Rangers are closer to Aberdeen than they are to Celtic with Celtic on 0.59).
Aberdeen's NP xGA graph is below (right). Only 63% of Aberdeen's opponents xG comes from open play and that is the lowest in the league and Aberdeen are conceding 0.51 xG from open play per game which is 2nd lowest in the league behind Celtic.
So using the expected goals measure Aberdeen away should be tougher than Hearts away especially when you consider Aberdeen are conceding 0.51 xG from open play every game and Hearts are conceding 1.01 xG from open play every game.
Aberdeen's weakness has been their scoring as they are 5th in the league for goals per game at 1.17 and 5th for NP xG per game at 1.10. This isn't due to the lack of shots as at 13.6 per game they are 3rd best but an xG per shot of 0.081 (3rd worst) has been the reason for their low chance creation, low scoring and lowly league position.
They are also 8th for Post Shot xG versus xG with a negative variance of 8.3%.
29% of Aberdeen's xG comes from set plays and that is 7th in the league while 46% of their xG comes in the 1st half and that is 4th in the league.
Aberdeen are heavily reliant on Ramirez to score their goals and he has scored 9 goals this season from an xG of 6.03.
In their last league game against Livingston Aberdeen lined up with; - 25 Woods
- 22 Ramsay, 2 McCrorie, 27 Bates and 11 Montgomery
- 19 Ferguson and 16 Ojo
- 10 Besuijen, 20 Jenks and 17 Hayes
- 9 Ramirez
Adam Montgomery on loan from Celtic playing at left back. With MacKenzie, Kennedy and Emmanuel-Thomas coming on for Jenks, Ramsay and Montgomery. Match probabilities are; - Celtic win 62% - Aberdeen win 14% - a draw 24%
This game might be a bit tighter than people may natural think given Celtic's recent performances and Aberdeen's position in the league.
My prediction is a Giakoumakis goal in the first half and a 1-0 Celtic win with Joe Hart again not conceding a league goal in the final 20 minutes of the game (like he has all season).