sport

Former boss backing Aberdeen

Alex Smith believes Aberdeen have the quality to pull off a shock when they face Celtic in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup on Saturday.

Smith led the Dons to a Scottish League Cup and Scottish Cup double in 1990 and, despite Celtic having gone unbeaten in the league all season, Smith remains confident Derek McInnes' side can claim victory in Glasgow.

"It's a wonderful game in prospect at Parkhead. There might have been times when the outcome looked a formality but that's not the case now," Smith told the Daily Record.

"Celtic have been on a fantastic run and an incredible sequence of clean sheets. But that has to come to an end at some point.

"The Celtic defence will face arguably their toughest test of their run with the front four Derek has at his disposal.

"Niall McGinn, Jonny Hayes, Peter Pawlett and Adam Rooney are a real handful for anyone."

Aberdeen are already through to one Hampden final after they defeated St Johnstone 4-0 in the League Cup semi-final and Smith thinks that will help them when they take on Neil Lennon's side.

He added: "Aberdeen will go there with no pressure. They have a cup final to look forward to in March against Inverness and can go to Parkhead almost like they have nothing to lose.

"Aberdeen will go there full of confidence. There is no doubt a psychological barrier has been lifted.

"It's a weight off the club's shoulders because the longer the absence from a final, the harder it became.

"They have a hugely difficult tie at Parkhead but they can win and if they get past Celtic then there's no reason why they can't go on and make it a cup double.

"What an achievement that would be."

Coverage of Celtic v Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup begins on Sky Sports 2 at 12:30pm on Saturday.