If Aberdeen are to remain on course for any standard of European football next season then this match has to be regarded as a must win. Rangers play Hearts this weekend and the Dons must win to take advantage as obviously someone will drop points.
Calderwood’s Aberdeen take on relegation candidates Saints and Dunfermline in consecutive games, said: ‘If we are serious about getting into Europe we have to win both games but they’ll probably be the hardest games we face between now and the SPL split.
‘Something has to give between Hearts and Rangers and we must be positioned to take advantage.
‘However, I don’t believe St Mirren will be relegated. They are dogged and well-organised and they have the bit between their teeth. They will be out to keep some distance between themselves and bottom spot.
‘St Mirren have 14 games left and six of them are at home before the split which is highly significant.
‘They are capable of averaging a point from each of them. If they do, that would mean Dunfermline taking 20-plus points from their schedule which is a very big ask and St Mirren’s goal difference is also superior.’
On Aberdeen’s substantial injury list, Jimmy Calderwood had this to say ‘Jamie Smith and Zander Diamond both had their operations yesterday and the surgeon is pleased with how both the procedures went. They will start their rehabilitation tomorrow and it will probably be about six weeks before they are back playing. Brewster is also six weeks away from returning but with the way the fixtures have worked out it looks like they will only miss three games. Byrne is about two weeks away from coming back, which is great for him and for the team. Touzani is back and available for selection along with Kyle Macaulay who has returned from his loan spell with Peterhead.’
St.Mirren Team News:
St Mirren midfielder Simon Lappin has recovered from a hip injury sustained in last week’s defeat at Celtic Park.
Alex Burke, Iain Anderson and Billy Mehmet have returned to training after injury but may not be risked.
Player to watch: Stephen McGinn
Grandson of Celtic Chairman Jack, he made his debut at Parkhead last week and stuck one past Boruc. Not many do that at Celtic Park and the 19 year old should be buzzing with confidence. Hope Jimmy’s done his homework!
Aberdeen Team News:
Aberdeen duo Russell Anderson and Michael Hart are now fully fit, while fellow defender Karim Touzani and striker Dyron Daal are free of illness.
Player to watch: Darren Mackie
Mackie is by far and away the clubs top scorer this season but has not notched since Boxing Day. He must be due a goal and has come close often showing that his belief is still high. Probably will be played alongside Lovell tomorrow as Jimmy is tiring a little of the mostly ineffective Lee Miller.
Match Facts & Stats
At Home to Dunfermline, normal Saturday 3pm Kick Off.