Date: 10th March 2007 at 11:53am
Written by:

This huge crunch match will go along way to determine where the teams will finish in the league this season and both sides can do their opponents Euro hopes some real damage today. With only one goal separating the teams, this is one of the biggest matches in the SPL this season.

Vital Quotes:

Jimmy Calderwood:- ‘Hearts will also adopt their usual physical approach, with two big centre-forwards, in an attempt to bully us.

‘But we showed when we beat them at Tynecastle earlier in the season that we can handle that.

‘It doesn’t matter what bodies are actually put out there at Pittodrie, we will be prepared for dealing with them again, especially at set pieces.

‘But the system we use will be more designed to making Hearts worry about us.

‘The game is at our place, so we will be looking to set the pace and put Hearts under as much pressure as possible.’

‘When I was in Holland the three Scottish clubs everyone knew about were the Dons and the Old Firm.

‘It’s the same almost everywhere on mainland Europe. The club is very highly respected because of what was achieved in the 1980s.

‘It would be great to get the chance to write another proud chapter in the club’s European history.’

We are third place on merit and it has come from a lot of hard work. We have built towards this point during the season and it would be immense satisfaction if we made it. We are in pole position (for Europe) and we have to finish it off.’

He continued, He said: ‘We are close to the prize but we have a massive week coming up. With a game in hand, we have to take advantage on Tuesday but it would be nice to give ourselves a wee lead going to Fir Park by winning this game.

‘You want to be successful wherever you work and taking this club to Europe would be success for me.’

Jamie Langfield:- ‘There’s nothing between us going into the game, and it makes for one of the biggest games in a long time. We’re full of confidence after winning at Falkirk last weekend, our home record is good, we want to put the record straight after Hearts won here earlier on in the year, so we’re really looking forward to it. With the Old Firm playing on Sunday and Rangers hopefully dropping points, if we can get maximum points in this game and then at Motherwell, that really sets things up at Ibrox next weekend. But we can’t be getting ahead of ourselves. Saturday’s the job in hand and we have to make sure we do our jobs properly.’

Stephen Frail:- . ‘It is a big game but I don’t think it is the be all and end all if we don’t win it, and I think Aberdeen will be saying the same,’ said Frail.

‘Again we don’t approach it that way. If we win it we get great confidence to kick on between now and the end of the season with a wee cushion over them.

With the Old Firm game over the weekend if we happen to beat Aberdeen and Rangers lose to Celtic then it is back to four points and we’re back in the mix for second place.

Calum Elliot:- ‘I think Aberdeen is a must-win game for us,’.

‘If we win it, we will have a great chance of getting second place.

‘We feel that is still possible and with Rangers having a tough game against Celtic on Sunday, we can narrow the gap with victory tomorrow.’

Aberdeen Team News:

Aberdeen striker Darren Mackie is a doubt as he struggles to shake off tonsillitis and a hip injury.

efender Richie Byrne returns to the squad for the first time since September, having recovered from a hamstring injury.

Aberdeen squad: Langfield, Anderson, Diamond, Considine, Lovell, Foster, Nicholson, Maguire, Severin, Clark, Miller, Mackie, Hart, Dempsey, Touzani, Soutar, J Smith, Brewster, D Smith, Daal, Byrne.

Player to watch: Scott Severin

Playing against his old side, Severin will need to stand up and control the midfield if the Dons are to win. Severin is one of the most important players in the Aberdeen team and his goal threat could be vital in this match.

Hearts Team News:

Hearts defender Ibrahim Tall misses out after picking up an injury in Monday’s win at Motherwell.

aulius Mikoliunas, who missed that match, is rated doubtful but Jose Goncalves returns to the squad.

Player to watch: Too Unpredictable

Hearts have fielded 37 different players, which means there is no way Calderwood can be certain which 11 will face Aberdeen in their SPL crunch clash at Pittodrie

Match Facts & Stats

Ref Watch:

Steve Conroy:
The Doctor will be in control of the most important match of the season so far and he’s delighted to be reffing at one of the leagues top fixtures.

Next Fixtures:

Aberdeen travel to Motherwell on Tuesday night for their re-arranged match. Kick Off is at 7.45.