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Challenging trip to Aberdeen awaits

Aberdeen-Rangers

RANGERS continue their search for three in a row this weekend when they take on Mark McGhee’s Aberdeen side at Pittodrie on Sunday.

The Teddy Bears haven’t won in the Granite City since December 2006, when goals from Libor Sionko and Nacho Novo gave us a 2-1 win, with the infamous Paul le Guen in charge.

Since Walter Smith’s return at Ibrox, we have collected three points from a possible eighteen. That is a ridiculous statistic for a club of our stature, considering the opponent haven’t exactly set the heather on fire either.

This season, the reigning champions have a 100% record intact after opening with victories against Kilmarnock, Hibernian, St. Johnstone, Hamilton and Dundee United. Aberdeen, on the other hand, lie eight points behind the Gers after only five games.

This for me highlights the gulf between the two teams and really does show why we should be bringing home three points on Sunday afternoon.

There is much debate whether Rangers failure to pick up a win in four years is down to underestimating the Dons, or the more commonly believed one that Aberdeen always raise their game when we come to town.

Of course the Aberdeen side of things would refute this claim, citing victories against Celtic in the recent past as evidence of them ‘raising their game’ against others. What isn’t in doubt however, is the determination to defeat us in every game.

There are many theories to how the ‘rivalry’ between the clubs started, but from a personal point of view that hatred is one-sided. In my opinion Rangers have and always will have only one enemy, Celtic.

These factors all attribute to the fact that Rangers will have a very tricky game to contend with. To add extra spice, ex-Celtic midfielder Paul Hartley will line-up against us as Pittodrie captain.

For me, our problems in the Aberdeen away fixture have always been the same. And I haven’t a clue what it is. We don’t go up there with 5 up front, we don’t play ultra-defensive. Yet a draw or defeat has been the outcome since 2006.

For me, right from the kick-off we must push Aberdeen and let them know we won’t be pushed over. We are the champions after all. First goals are always precious in crucial games, so we definitely must not concede early. Or at all for that matter.

Miller and Jelavic

The striking partnership of Kenny Miller and Nikica Jelavic will hopefully continue as it did on Saturday in the 4-0 win against Dundee United. Along with these forwards, midfielders Steven Davis and Vladimir Weiss are key to supplying us with a win. And of course, veteran Davie Weir and Madjid Bougherra must also keep things extremely tight at the back and not give in to the inevitable pressure we’ll receive from the home side.

We have to attack Aberdeen, take the game to them like it was Ibrox. If we do this, I am sure we will be far too strong for them. Here’s hoping.

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