MX23RW : Thursday, August 5 15:15:55| >> :120:82341:82341:
Feb 16, 2020 at 12pm UK at Pittodrie Stadium
Attendance: 14,135
Taylor (27')
FT(HT: 1-1)
McGregor (10'), Ajer (81')

Derek McInnes: 'Celtic hunger behind good form'

Derek McInnes: 'Celtic hunger behind good form'
© Reuters
The Hoops are 10 points clear at the top of the table.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes feels Celtic's hunger has been a key factor in their impressive start to 2020.

Celtic have won all eight of their matches this year and extended their lead at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership to 10 points ahead of their trip to Pittodrie on Sunday after taking their recent goal tally to 22 in six league matches.

The likes of Ryan Christie – who netted 17 club goals before the winter break – and the influential Tom Rogic have struggled to get a place in Neil Lennon's starting line-up and McInnes feels that strength in depth is firing them on.

McInnes said: "Any time we play Celtic they always seem to be in good form. What I see in this Celtic team is not only the attacking threats that they have always possessed but there seems to be a hunger about them which they have probably needed in the last few weeks.

"The options Neil has have maybe helped with that because you see so many good players not even make the bench and good players who have been playing who are now on the bench."

Celtic hit four first-half goals on their previous trip to Pittodrie but Aberdeen made a game of the return fixture before going down 2-1 after having Sam Cosgrove sent off.

McInnes said: "When you come up against a team with so many good players and attacking threats, for us it's about getting the balance right between attacking and defending.

"We are the home team and we have to carry that threat but we also have to make sure – as we were at Celtic Park a couple of months ago – that we are closer to them. We defended well and competed well and I actually thought we deserved a point against them.

"There's a lot to be impressed with Celtic and the form they are in but we can't go into the game just waxing lyrical about Celtic.

"We have to concentrate on our own need for points and our performance and hopefully the performance mirrors a lot of what we had that day at Celtic Park, because if we do that we are capable of getting a positive result."

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Sam Cosgrove in action for Aberdeen on December 2, 2018
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Thursday's key events

· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
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· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

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· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

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