Dons match won't decide title destination, says Celtic manager Deila

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Celtic's manager Ronny Deila follows the action during an UEFA Champions League play-off match in Malmo, Sweden, on August 25, 2015 (AFP Photo/Andreas Hillergren)
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Glasgow (AFP) - Celtic manager Ronny Deila says Saturday's table top clash against Aberdeen will give his side an opportunity to build momentum in their bid to retain their Scottish Premiership title.

The Dons were Celtic's closest rivals last season but the Hoops ran out winners in the four clashes between the sides in the league.

The match at Pittodrie is the first meeting between the teams in this campaign with Celtic holding just a point advantage over Aberdeen, who have played one game fewer.

However, despite believing that a win would give his side a massive boost, Deila insists that nothing will be decided in the title race on Saturday.

"Last year we started talking about the title race in January, now we're talking about it in September," the Celtic manager said.

"We're going to play a lot of matches this season so nothing will be finished after Saturday but the team who wins will put themselves into a better position and get energy and confidence for the next games.

"But it's very early to talk about winning or losing the league.

"I think they are a better team this year than they were last year because they have consistency. They have brought in a couple of good players and kept their team. They have more experience than last year and they've started well so it will be a tough game.

"We always go into every game to win and we want to go up to Aberdeen and get three points to get us in a good position.

"We are a better side now. Everything is going the right way. Everything we have done is winning games and progressing.

"We are the two best teams from last year. Both teams have started well this year so it's a big game and I'm looking forward to it."

The Dons have had a 100 per cent start to the season and should they defeat Celtic they will set a new club record for successive league games won at the start of a new campaign.

Confidence is high amongst the Aberdeen support but manager of the month Derek McInnes agreed with his Celtic counterpart's assessment and said Saturday's match wouldn't be decisive.

"It's still very early on," said McInnes.

"We've made a solid start to the season but we're now going into a significant run of games and it's the same three points for all of them.

"We know it's a big game for us but, domestically, Celtic will see this as one of the toughest challenges of their season.

"The aim is always to win and some games are tougher than others. Naturally, games against Celtic are tougher to win but we still feel we can win it."

Fixtures (1400 GMT unless stated)


Aberdeen v Celtic (1230), Dundee United v Kilmarnock, Motherwell v Ross County, Partick Thistle v Dundee, St Johnstone v Hamilton