How injury-ravaged Aberdeen could line up against Rangers with remarkable academy record under threat

Amidst the delight of ending a five-game losing run in the league with Saturday's 1-0 win over Hibs at Pittodrie, Aberdeen were dealt a huge blow.

Aberdeen picked up a much-needed win by defeating Hibs on Saturday. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Stephen Glass lost Declan Gallagher and Calvin Ramsay during the game due to injury having already been without left-back Jack MacKenzie, who had sustained an injury of his own during training ahead of the match.

All three are set to miss Wednesday’s trip to Ibrox where the Dons come up against cinch Premiership league leaders Rangers.

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Gallagher was pictured on crutches while Mackenzie is due to see a specialist today [Monday].

In addition, the Scottish Sun report Mackenzie and Ramsay will be out until mid-November.

It is a significant blow for Glass, especially with the latter set to be out for a sustained period. The teenager has been one of the best players in the league this season and showed his worth once more in an attacking sense by setting up Christian Ramirez for the winner after making a great run in behind Lewis Stevenson before picking out the American with a nice cutback.

It is an understatement to say it leaves Glass with a selection headache.

The Dons boss showed his improvisation skills at the weekend by sliding captain Scott Brown into a back three.

That is one option available to Glass and perhaps the best one, especially as it would allow top scorer Christian Ramirez to be supported by Marley Watkins in attack.

Brown could lead the defence, flanked by David Bates and Ross McCrorie. As a pairing the latter two have struggled when played together but the experience of Brown could be a huge benefit to both players, especially someone like McCrorie who has the ability to drive forward with the ball.

The Aberdeen captain often dropped deep for Celtic in his final seasons at the club to build attacks and he reads the game well.

In turn, a back three would require wing-backs. Johnny Hayes and Ryan Hedges have experience of playing such a role, while Dean Campbell may come into Glass’ consideration.

The 20-year-old’s last involvement was a first-half sending off in 2-0 defeat to Hamilton Accies in the SPFL Trust Trophy.

He’s played just four times this season but one of those was a good performance on the left against Hearts.

Since replacing McInnes, however, Glass has preferred a back four.

There are a number of options at left-back, including Campbell, Hayes and McCrorie. On the right, however, Jack Gurr has struggled to make a first-team impact and picked up an injury in the SPFL Trust Trophy defeat to Accies.

McCrorie has played that position previously but it would likely mean playing Brown as a centre-back in a two rather than three.

An interesting side note is a 72-year-old record which could come to an end on Wednesday.

As noted by Aberdeen podcast ‘Here We Go!’, Aberdeen have included at least one youth team graduate in every single starting XI since 1949.

A remarkable run which is under threat with Andy Considine, Ramsay and MacKenzie all set to miss out, while Connor McLennan has missed the last two.

It could be down to whether Campbell is chosen or not.

Possible Aberdeen XI: Lewis; McCrorie, Brown, Bates; Hedges, Ferguson, Ojo, Longstaff, Hayes; Watkins, Ramirez.

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