Hayes scored a screamer last season as the Dons were the only team to beat Celtic in the league.
And the on-form winger reckons the gap between the Parkhead club and the rest of the Premiership is continuing to narrow.
Celtic won the title by 29 points last term but Hayes feels they are not as frightening a prospect as in previous years.
Watch Jonny's goal of the season strike that downed Celtic last term:
Hayes said: "There is no fear playing Celtic now and it has changed over the years.
"Since Rangers have weakened I would say Celtic have taken their foot off the gas but the league is a lot easier for them.
"They have sold some players and have not invested as much as they might have done had Rangers been in the league.
"It is a bit of a chance for the likes of ourselves, Dundee United and Inverness to maybe get that little bit closer.
“We might see that gap open again but it is a competitive league at the moment.
"Celtic have had a few slip-ups but are starting to get more of an established team now.
"However, we are going into the game fully focused on our own game knowing that Celtic are probably not as strong as they used to be.
"We have had three clean sheets now and are full of confidence."
Source: Daily Record
Watch Aberdeen end Celtic's unbeaten record last season: