A huge match at Pittodrie this weekend that the Dons must win to keep distance from Hearts and close in on Rangers.
Jimmy Calderwood:- ‘This Saturday we face a Dundee United side that are coming here on the back of a great win at Tynecastle and a point against the league champions. Craig Levein has them well organised and they’re not giving too much away at all at present. It’s going to be another difficult one for us and while they’ll undoubtedly miss Barry Robson in the middle of the park, someone else will be coming in determined to do well.
‘With Michael, Richard and Karim Touzani available again, I do have options available for what is the first of three crucial home games in succession. The crowd this week, and in the Hibs and Killie matches, will undoubtedly play a major part in helping us hopefully get through what will be a major step towards a return to European football next season and it is much appreciated.’
Russell Anderson:- ‘ This is the last game now before the split and it’s important we finish this part of the season with a win to give us the momentum going into the final five fixtures. They’ve been kind to us inasmuch as there are three home games and only two away, but we know that every game left will be a hard one. That’s the case this weekend as well because Dundee United have had a really good run of late. They don’t concede many goals so we’ll have to work hard to break them down. Both sides have won 3-1 against the other this season, so hopefully we can make the most of home advantage again this afternoon.’
Lee Miller:- ‘ Obviously this is a big game for me against my old club, but there’s bigger things at stake than that. Winning at Kilmarnock was a great result for us because we’ve not had a great record there in the past. We didn’t play all that well but we came away with the points which is what matters now. Every game is massive now but with the break coming and then the post-split fixtures, it’s important we get three points and set ourselves up for the last five games.’
Aberdeen FC Team News:
Aberdeen still cannot call on the services of Barry Nicholson, Jamie Smith or Gary Dempsey but can recall Karim Touzai, Ricky Foster and Michael Hart.
Player to watch: Lee Miller
Lee Miller has a point to prove to both sets of fans and it this would be the perfect stage to do so.
Dundee United Team News:
United main man and captain Barry Robson is out after being sent off last week but Noel Hunt will return which has prompted Jimmy Calderwood to say ‘It’s not bad news at all that Barry won’t play against us at Pittodrie,’ Calderwood said.
‘He’s a good player and an important part of Craig Levein’s team.
‘Barry has been in good form for United lately.
‘That’s a huge loss for them and we have to take advantage of that.
‘Barry has set high standards and I’m just pleased we don’t have to worry about him.
‘He caused us a lot of problems in the last match at Tannadice just after Christmas.
‘He’s a huge influence on their team and I’m relieved he won’t be in their side.’
and he commented on the return of Hunt I know all about Noel, he’s a dangerous player.
‘I expect him to come back into United’s team and he knows a few of the former Dunfermline lads here which will add a little extra spice to the game.
‘United will be in confident mood after their draw with Celtic, so it won’t be easy.
‘But if we want to make it into Europe next season we have to be strong at home and win these type of games.
‘It’s important for us to go out and win our next three games to get us over the finishing line.
‘If we were to do that it would give us more freedom to go and attack the other teams in the remainder of the campaign.
‘It would be great to keep a real sense of excitement going until the end of the season.’
Player to watch: Noel Hunt
Hunt should replace Barry Robson and whilst Calderwood is pleased to be not facing Robson he will be up taking on his former player and current United second top scorer.
Match Facts & Stats
36 year old Mike Tumilty is the Head of Change Management at Standard Life Investments and will be the man in the middle for the New Firm crunch.
Mike has no wish to become a full time referee as often talked about and says,’ I think that other interests mean that you are always fresh when it comes to your games. In saying that in order to referee at the highest level you need both an understanding wife and employer !
The Dons host CIS Cup winners Hibs on the 21st of April in what promises to be a cracking match.