Do Aberdeen 'show up' more against Rangers than Celtic? Dons record v Old Firm examined

Rangers icon Kris Boyd recently said Barry Robson 'won't have a problem' getting his players up to play Rangers after their 6-0 thrashing by Celtic.
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Aberdeen suffered a humiliating 6-0 defeat to Celtic in Glasgow on Sunday, less than six weeks since they put in an impressive showing in their 3-1 victory over Rangers at Ibrox.

In the aftermath of the Celtic Park thrashing, Rangers icon Kris Boyd said in the Sky Sports studio that "Barry [Robson] won't have a problem getting them up for the next game, because Rangers are in town" and it's fair to say the reaction to his comments was one of agreement from large sections of the Gers' fanbase. However, do the statistics actually support the belief that the Dons are somehow more motivated for matches with Rangers than with Celtic?

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First of all, and the most important statistic, is wins plain and simple. Incredibly, Aberdeen have won the exact same amount of matches against Rangers as they have against Celtic (87) in their club's history. However, they have played Celtic on more occasions with 369 matches compared to 307 against the Gers.

That means they have won 28.34% of matches they have played against Rangers compared to 23.58% against Celtic. So, what about more recent history?

Aberdeen have now not won a match against Celtic in their last 23 attempts, with their last victory being a 1-0 win at Parkhead in 2018. You have to go all the way back to February 2016 for their last win over the Hoops at Pittodrie as goals from Jonny Hayes and Simon Chruch secured the three points.

In their last 23 matches against Rangers the Dons have won four times - once at Pittodrie, twice at Ibrox and once at Hampden Park. In their last 23 matches against both they have drawn three against Celtic and five against Rangers.

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Another metric is the aggregate score? Do Aberdeen concede less to Rangers, indicating that games are often harder thought? In those last 23 matches the aggregate score between Celtic and Aberdeen is Celtic 56-14 Aberdeen and between Rangers and Aberdeen it is Rangers 41-18 Aberdeen.

That does suggest that Celtic have had a slightly easier time finding the back of the net against the Dons on the whole over the 36 game period since the North East club last beat Celtic. Historically though, it hasn't always been the case.

Aberdeen's current 23 game winless run against Celtic pales in comparison to the 26 years they went without winning a game at Ibrox between 1991 and 2017. In that time period they managed four wins at Celtic Park, hardly big numbers but still four more than they got on the other side of Glasgow.

While it is clear that Aberdeen's overall record against Rangers is slightly better than against Celtic based on win percentage and results in recent seasons, it's clear that historically they have struggled just as much against the Blue half of Glasgow as they have against the team in Green and White.

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Rangers face Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Sunday, November 26, their first match back after the current international break. They will then face them again less than one month later in the Viaplay Cup final at Hampden Park on December 17.

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