By Danny Wright
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes revealed on Tuesday that he has a midfield crisis on his hands as his side prepare for a trip to Rangers on Wednesday night.
McInnes has ruled that three key midfielders will miss the tie with captain Ryan Jack and Peter Pawlett out through injury while star winger Jonny Hayes is suspended.
HITC reported on Wednesday that Jack will move to Rangers when his Pittodrie contract expires at the season, but the 25-year-old has missed the last two matches with a groin tear.
Pawlett will miss out on the action due to a problem with his Achilles.
McInnes has confirmed some positive news though as loanee Ryan Christie is set to return to the action as he was ineligible to play against his parent club Celtic on Friday.
“Jack and Pawlett injured, Hayes suspended, but Christie available again. We can’t really afford to make too many changes,” said the Dons boss in a pre-match press conference on Tuesday, as quoted by the club’s official Twitter account.
Derek – Jack & Pawlett injured Hayes suspended but Christie available again. We can't really afford to make too many changes.
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) May 16, 2017
Hayes, 29, has been one of the best players for Aberdeen this season, scoring nine goals and supplying a staggering 23 assists in 42 appearances across all competitions.
He will serve a ban for the trip to Ibrox though as he picked up his sixth yellow card of the season in the loss to St. Johnstone in April.
McInnes won’t want to make many changes to his side as they look for a point to mathematically confirm their runners-up spot in the Scottish Premiership.
In other Rangers news, Neil Lennon has hit out at Pedro Caixinha over his comments about the Dons.