RONNY DEILA will assess his options today before naming his Celtic line-up to take on Aberdeen in the High Noon showdown at Parkhead tomorrow.
Kris Commons, who scored two in last week’s 4-0 victory over Hamilton, could return after only getting 12 minutes as a late substitute in the Europa League exit against Inter Milan in the San Siro on Thursday.
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The Hoops have won 11 of their last 13 domestic games while drawing one and losing one. The Dons are unbeaten in the SPFL since the champions overcame them 2-1 at Pittodrie in November – a run of 13 games.
Deila said: “The pressure is on both teams, but Aberdeen have to win, maybe a draw, to stay in the fight for the championship so this is a very important game. If we win we put ourselves in a very good position.
“They are a very good team, with speed, good on the counter-attacks. They have played together for a long time and they have consistency. You can see they have built from where they were so we have to put in a very good performance.”
Dons gaffer Derek McInnes refused to concede that the game was a title decider. He insisted: “The aim, as always, is to win and some games are a bigger challenge than others. We want to go and try and win the next game and not look any further ahead. I believe we have a team that is capable of winning. Every time I’ve taken the team to Parkhead, I’ve felt we’ve been stronger. There are still 33 points to play for after Sunday so it’s wrong to say it’s a must win game for us.”
Also, did you see yesterday that Bobo Balde was back in the news for his no nonsense tackling while at Celtic?
Former Manchester United star Paul Scholes yesterday accused Bobo Balde for the worst tackle he received in his career.
Scholes admitted he was lucky to walk away from the heavy challenge from the former Celtic central defender.
He said: “I had some bad tackles on me over the years, but I took it as part of the game. One that stands out was a challenge by Bobo Baldé in a Champions League game against Celtic that we lost in Glasgow in 2006.
“When I watched it back later, I was shocked at how my leg bowed. I had got to the ball first and he had caught me.
“It was nothing malicious. It happens. That was one time I didn’t try to kick him back.
“He was so big I would only have hurt myself.”
Shunsuke Nakamura netted the only goal of an eventful evening with a stunning long-range free-kick.