Dundee United face their third game inside a week as they take on Motherwell in their Scottish Cup quarter-final at Tannadice. Three successive league victories may have moved the Tangerines up into fifth place in the SPL table, but their attention now switches back to the competition they famously won last season. Manager Peter Houston made changes for their previous game against Hamilton Academical on Thursday evening in order to try and give some of his key performers a rest, and every opportunity of perhaps even matching their exploits from last term.
“We are focused and, if we don’t win the Cup tie, I won’t stand here saying it was because we were too tired and blaming anybody,” Dundee United manager Peter Houston told BBC Scotland. “We’ve got a bunch of players who are very fit. They train to a high tempo normally. We have toned it down a wee bit. One thing that’s for sure, I’m sure you will see a different Dundee United side from the first half, because it’s a cup tie against an SPL club, a good side in Motherwell and we’ll be at it on Sunday.”
“As much as we’ve been inconsistent, our performances have been very good and that’s what we’ll need on Sunday,” Motherwell boss Stuart McCall told BBC Scotland. “There’s been a real edge to the lads in training this week after a disappointing performance up at Inverness, where we lost three really sloppy and soft goals, which has been unlike us recently. To go to Tannadice and face the Cup holders is probably going to be the toughest tie we could’ve got, without being away to one of the Old Firm.”
Dundee United Team News:
Garry Kenneth returns to the squad after recovering from a knee injury. Fellow defender Paul Dixon was also expected to be available following illness and winger Craig Conway should similarly make it. But Darren Dods and Scott Severin remain sidelined.
Dundee United (from): Pernis, Dillon, Watson, Douglas, van der Meulen, D. Robertson, S. Robertson, Gomis, Swanson, Buaben, Russell, Goodwillie, Daly, Shala, Dixon, Conway, Kenneth, Kovacevic, Banks
Player to watch: Garry Kenneth
With so many fixtures to catch up on the return of the big defender is a massive boost in an area of the side seriously weakened of late.
Motherwell Team News:
Motherwell have winger Steve Jones back from a hamstring problem. However influential midfielder Steve Jennings is suspended.
Motherwell (from): Randolph, Saunders, Hateley, Craigan, Gunning, Hutchinson, Hammell, Lasley, Humphrey, Forbes, Murphy, Sutton, Jeffers, Jones, Page, Casagolda, Pollock, Hollis
Player to watch: Keith Lasley
Very important performer in midfield for Motherwell.
Match Facts & Stats
Dundee United reached the last eight of the competition with a 3-1 victory at Hamilton Academical, while Motherwell prevailed 2-0 at Third Division Stranraer.