CAMERON CARTER-VICKERS has played three games at Pittodrie and the Celtic centre-back has enjoyed success in all of them.

The USA World Cup defender had Carl Starfelt as his partner in the middle of the rearguard in those hat-trick of victories over Aberdeen in his first two seasons at the champions.

In his debut campaign during his initial loan spell from Spurs, Carter-Vickers played his part in a 2-1 win in October 2021 and a 3-2 victory when he returned with the Hoops the following February.

The Southend-born back-four performer and the Swedish international lined up alongside each other in the 1-0 triumph in December as the Premiership resumed after the month-long break for the soccer showpiece in Qatar.

Carter-Vickers will be back at Pittodrie at midday on Sunday for the second game of the new crusade.

DOUBLE JOY…Cameron Carter-Vickers is all smiles after hitting the winner at Ibrox in April 2022 with Carl Starfelt about to join in the celebrations.

However, he will be breaking new ground without his regular colleague following Starfelt’s move to Celta Vigo during the week.

Maik Nawrocki, who signed from Legia Warsaw in a £4.3million switch last month, will be at his side on this occasion.

Carter-Vickers reflected: “I think it’s always sad when you lose a team-mate, especially one you played so closely with, but for him it was the right move and we wish him nothing but the best.”

The Polish new Bhoy started last weekend’s 4-2 Flag Day success over Ross County before Starfelt came on as a late substitute for his farewell performance at Parkhead.

Speaking about the prospect of bonding with his new team-mate, Carter-Vickers said: “He’s a really good player, you can see in training the qualities that he has.

“It just needs time more than anything and it’s just about building up connections and me knowing what he’s going to do and him knowing what I’m going to do.

“All defensive partnerships take a bit of time, that’s just the nature of the position. So, for me now it’s just about focusing on trying to build connections with new team-mates and trying to build that connection as strongly as possible.

“It’s a bit of everything. Training is key and speaking to each other out on the training pitch and letting each other know where we want each other to be.

IT TAKES TWO…Carl Starfelt and Cameron Carter-Vickers celebrate Celtic’s 2-1 Viaplay League Cup Final victory over Michael Beale’s Ibrox side in February.

“There’s nothing like a game just to see his natural tendencies and him learning mine. From there, you can feed off each other.”

The rock-solid defender, speaking to Celtic TV, added: “You can see the qualities that Maik has every day in training. He’s a very, very good player and it’s just time.

“All defensive connections take time and that’s just what me and the team need.

“He’s very good on the ball, a good passer, a very good progressive passer of the ball.

“I think he reads the game really well and he just knows when to step in at times and trying to be aggressive in intercepting the ball.”

Celtic played the Dons four times last season, won them all and scored 12 goals without Joe Hart being required to retrieve the ball from his net on any of the occasions.

Let’s hope the keeper, Carter-Vickers and Nawrocki continue the good work on Sunday.

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