Rangers got closer to an authentic title challenge last term under Steven Gerrard, and much like last season they’ve impressed during pre-season friendlies, this time beating Lyon, Nice and Coventry 2-0 each and Motherwell 4-0.
Meanwhile, Aberdeen finished fourth for the second year running, having ended up in second in each of the four campaigns prior to that.
They’ve consistently been one of the best teams beyond Celtic in recent times under Derek McInnes, who is by far the division’s current longest serving coach having been in the dugout since April 2013 now.
Rangers are W4-D1-L1 hosting Aberdeen in the league since 2017/18, registering clean sheets in all but the solitary defeat. However, on the road they’re not so accomplished and could only manage one victory from their final four trips last term.
Aberdeen +1.25 Asian Handicap
At all venues and in all competitions, the head to heads are an even split (W3-D4-L3) since the start of last season, with three of four meetings at Pittodrie ending in stalemates.
With that in mind, Aberdeen look a big price to get something from this game, even if they did lose four of their final five home games last term before the league was suspended.
Each of those defeats came by one-goal margins though and given a dominant Celtic outfit are the only side to beat them by more than a single goal domestically going back as far as March 2019, look well worth siding with on the Asian handicap here.
Although pre-season results have been good, Gerrard will be concerned by his limited striking options.
Indeed, 37-year-old veteran Jermaine Defoe limped off with a hamstring complaint against Motherwell in pre-season, while the combustible Alfredo Morelos is the only other senior striker at the club.
Only one of the Colombian’s 29 goals last term came after the winter break and he’s also the subject of strong transfer interest from Lille.
Having already reportedly agreed terms with the French outfit, he may lack focus should his name appear on the team sheet in any case.
The future of Aberdeen’s star striker might be up in the air as well after Sam Cosgrove rejected a £2m move to French second-tier side Guingamp. However, having chalked up 23 goals last season there’s no doubt the 23-year-old will be of considerable use to the Dons while he remains in Scotland.
The absence of defender Michael Devlin will be of greater concern to McInnes after he pulled his hamstring, with Aberdeen losing a greater share of their games without him.
However, it’s worth noting that both matches he missed against Rangers last term ended in stalemates.