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Aberdeen V Celtic at Pittodrie Stadium : Match Preview

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16 Aug 2013 18:33:29

Aberdeen V Celtic at Pittodrie Stadium : Match Preview

Aberdeen V Celtic - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Flood banking on Dons fans

Aberdeen winger Willo Flood believes a full Pittodrie stadium will help rather than hinder the Dons' chances of beating Celtic on Saturday.

Derek McInnes' side have won their first two Scottish Premiership games of the season against Kilmarnock and Motherwell, and growing optimism around the Granite City has led to an expected sell-out against the champions.

Former Celtic and Dundee United midfielder Flood thinks that would boost the home side's confidence.

"Having sucha large support behind us does not put extra pressure on the players," he told RedTV.

"In fact it is a boost. Hopefully we can get the three points and make them go home happy.

"The fans have been brilliant. Even in the warm up at Motherwell, they gave the players a big boost.

"I know when we have tough times this season they will help us even more.

"We know, though, how much the game means to the fans and how much it would mean to them if we could get a win.

"We are going there with a lot of confidence and we know that we have a good chance of beating Celtic, but we definitely need to be on our 'A' game.

"If we play well we have a great chance of getting maybe a draw, maybe a win."

Flood is not surprised by Aberdeen's impressive start to the season which has confirmed, for many, their credentials as potential challengers for the league title.

The Irishman said: "We've have a good pre-season and the manager has worked us hard.

"He knows what way he wants us to play. We've had a good start but we're not taking anything for granted.

"In the dressing room it is another game with another three points up for grabs.

"We are going into games with confidence because we know with the attacking players we have, we can score goals. We have proved that in the first two games."

Flood does not expect Celtic's arduous trip to Kazakhstan after the game for the first leg of their Champions League play-off against Shakhter Karagandy on Tuesday to have an effect on how the Hoops approach the game.

He said: "Knowing Neil Lennon personally I know he will not have one eye on the European game.

"He will want to come up here and beat us."

Celtic boss Neil Lennon says the Parkhead club have not given up on their pursuit of Schalke striker Teemu Pukki.

The Hoops manager has already lost last season's 31-goal top scorer Gary Hooper to Norwich and is keen to sign a capable replacement in time for Monday night's Champions League signing deadline.

Finish international Pukki is at the top of the Northern Irishman's wanted list and Lennon was in Turku on Wednesday to see the 23-year-old lead his country's attack during their 2-0 home win against World Cup qualifying rivals Slovenia.

However, an initial bid has already rejected and Lennon will have to up the offer to meet his German employers' valuation, reported to be set at B#2.5million.

"Teemu is a player that we like," said Lennon. "I was out watching him on Wednesday and we are trying to bring him in. It's not easy at this stage of the window.

"With a lot of clubs in Champions League position, similar to us, they won't want to let players go but we are very determined to bring players in and we are working hard in the background to do that.

"(Our bid has not been accepted) but negotiations are hopefully on-going. We will go again.

"There is a limit [to how much we will bid]for all players. What we are looking for is value for money. While we do have money to spend, we are not going to throw money at things just to justify our position. We want players who will make us better and at what we feel is the right price for the player.

"We do think Pukki is a very intelligent, sharp. His movement is excellent and his first touch is very good - very similar to Hooper. I don't know if he'd score as many as Gary but he'd certainly score his fair share of goals."

Having already lost the services of Hooper, Kelvin Wilson and Victor Wanyama - three players who formed the spine of his outfield unit during last season's run to the Champions League's last 16 - this summer, Lennon was understandably reluctant to offer Benfica much hope in their pursuit of goalkeeper Fraser Forster.



PA

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