11 May Each game at a time
Celtic’s trip to Aberdeen on Friday will have no bearing on their William Hill Scottish Cup final clash later in the month, according to Brendan Rodgers.
The Ladbrokes Premiership champions will try to keep their unbeaten domestic record since the start of this campaign intact at Pittodrie when they take on the second-placed Dons, whom they will face again in the season’s showpiece finale at Hampden Park on May 27.
Celtic have beaten Aberdeen three times in the league and also in the Betfred Cup final this season.
Ahead of their penultimate meeting against Derek McInnes’ side, Rodgers, named Ladbrokes Premiership manager of the month for April, said: “I don’t think you can read anything into it in terms of preparation for the final.
“It is the fifth time we will have played each other, it is obviously at Pittodrie which is a notoriously tough place to go but it is a game we are looking forward to.
“But it will have no relevance on the Scottish Cup final. Our idea is to peak for that.
“We have three more league games that we want to finish well and this will be a real good examination of our qualities but it will have no relevance to the outcome of that (final) game.”
Rodgers praised his Aberdeen counterpart McInnes, who has guided the Granite City club to a third consecutive second-place finish.
The Northern Irishman said: “Derek has done an outstanding job there. You take into account they don’t have a training ground and he has moulded a team of players together to be so consistent.
“I remember back in pre-season the drums were being banged about Rangers going on to win this league, be the closest rivals to Celtic.
“But Aberdeen are nine points ahead of Rangers and will finish in second place that is because the great work Derek – his team of coaches and support staff and players – has done.
“They have done very well and so we anticipate a tough game as have been the other games.”