The New Firm clash might not have the glamour it once did, but both Aberdeen and Dundee United will be desperate to win at Pittodrie on Saturday (Oct 21).
Both teams had disappointing results at the weekend, with the Dons losing 1-0 at Kilmarnock, and getting outplayed for extended periods of the game, and the Arabs losing 4-1 against table-toppers Celtic after being 1-0 up.
Dundee United’s Norwegian left-back Christian Kalvenes has promised fans they will not make the same mistakes as they did against Celtic. The players went in on their day off to study a video of the match (see here).
Lee Wilkie, who some had tipped to make his debut for the Arabs, will not feature after hurting his groin in training.
The 26-year-old defender is attempting to make his third comeback from cruciate ligament problems and has appeared several times for Dundee United’s reserve side after impressing on trial.
Boss Craig Brewster suggested earlier in the week that he could turn to youth to try and solve his side’s problems – with Garry Kenneth and David Goodwillie both being suggested as possible candidates for a start (see here).
However, one piece of good news is that defender Lee Mair is in contention for a return after missing the past two months with injury. The 25-year-old hasn’t featured since the 0-0 draw against Kilmarnock on August 12.
However, Aberdeen will be boosted with the return of skipper Russell Anderson, as the 27-year-old defender has recovered from hip problems.
He was taken off during the 1-0 defeat against Rangers on October 1 and missed Scotland’s recent Euro 2008 qualifiers after suffering spasms in his hip.
Dons boss Jimmy Calderwood also has Jamie Smith available for selection, as the midfielder has recovered from a long-term groin problem.
Aberdeen do still have injury concerns though, with 23-year-old striker Dyron Daal out for six weeks after breaking a bone in his hand during a reserve team match against Rangers on Tuesday (Oct 17).
Defensive duo Zander Diamond and Dan Smith will also miss the match after picking-up injuries during training (see here).
Richie Byrne, Karim Touzani and Steve Lovell are all still sidelined with injuries.
Aberdeen starting XI v Kilmarnock: Langfield, Hart, Diamond, Foster, Considine, Nicholson, Dempsey, Severin, Clark, Mackie, Miller.
Dundee Utd starting XI v Celtic: Stillie, Proctor, McCracken, Archibald, Kalvenes, Samuel, Kerr, Cameron, Robson, Duff, Hunt.