Updated: Mar 3
Recent weeks have seen us beat a Top 6 side for the first time since September so now it's time to up that and beat a Top 5 team.
This season against the Top 5 we have played 9 and won 2 with the those 2 wins coming in September (and were home games). Since September we have played 7 games against Top 5 teams and won 0.
Aberdeen will be a tougher challenge than St Johnstone, Kilmarnock, St Mirren away, Motherwell and Hamilton but on paper this season Aberdeen at home is easier than St Mirren at home. St Mirren have won 6 games away (versus Aberdeen's 4) and are on 1.42pts per away game (versus Aberdeen's 1.38pts). So if we believe we have improved since that St Mirren game we should be expecting a home win versus Aberdeen.
Aberdeen's NP xG for home and away league games this season is only 1.14 which is 6th best in the SPFL. NP xGA (xG from their opponent's) is 0.96 which is 4th best and in line with their league position.
31.5% of Aberdeen's NP xG has come from Build Up play starting at the back. 18.7% of their NP xG conceded has come from build up play of their opponents which is the 3rd lowest possibly indicating they can get organised defensively if they have time. 13.2% of their NP xG conceded has come from turnovers (4th highest) and basically the high press from their opponents. This would suggest that over reliance on build up play might not be our best tactic and a return to a better pressing display might prove more beneficial. (I thought we looked to press more and better versus Motherwell at home recently). NP xG stats courtesy of @ModernFitba. As you might expect with Aberdeen being a team creating NP xG from build ups they usually dominate the possession and in their last 7 games they have had 54%, 59%, 67%, 52%, 60%, 62% and 59% possession. However in those 7 games they have only scored 3 goals. 2 goals versus 10 men Motherwell and 1 goal versus Ross County during a 4-1 defeat.
They've had some players coming and going during the window and therefore will still need time for that transition. Likely line up to be;
- Hoban, Taylor and Considine
- Kennedy, McCrorie, Ferguson, Campbell and Hayes
With Aberdeen's style and tactics could this be a boring 0-0 draw? However confidence is low with the fans calling for Derek McInnes's head so an early goal along with good high pressing should yield some positive results.
Maybe we'll even score 5 goals for the first time since 12th September and for only the 3rd time domestically this season. With Edouard improving his form and the Kilmarnock and Motherwell games having the most touches in the box all season you never know. Or am I just being naive? Last season we scored 5 goals on 7 occasions domestically.
I predict our line up will be our 37th different one of the season with Griffiths coming in to start. I'd prefer Ajeti but I've got a feeling Lennon will go for Griffiths and I'm hoping he is actually going to play 2 forwards in his 2 forwards formation. Who drops out for Griffiths? I honestly can't call it. I can see Christie being retained as he has contributed in the last 2 games but can also see Rogic retained. So I just don't know. Will he drop Turnbull?? Please no. If pushed I'll go for Rogic making way for Griffiths.
My prediction - A 5-0 win for us with Edouard (2), Griffiths (1), Ajeti as sub (1) and Christie (1) getting the goals. Yeah, I'm off my nut!! :)
Aberdeen 15min segment graph below (for St Mirren game) and further below is Aberdeen Player Impact Plot Graph on Touches and Accurate Passes.