Dundee United were finally expected to be back into action following a succession of postponements against Hibernian at Easter Road on Wednesday evening. The Tannadice club’s recent inactivity has seen them fall into seventh place in the table but with as many as three and four games currently in hand on most of their closest rivals.
“I don’t know if it has been mentioned in the dressing-room, but we’re far enough into the season and we’re completely in that fight,” Hibernian boss Colin Calderwood told BBC Scotland following their recent relegation clash defeat to Aberdeen. “We will need a sustained run of good form and victories to take us away from it.”
“When our game against Hamilton went off, I took the opportunity to go to see Hibs against Aberdeen,” Dundee United manager Peter Houston told BBC Scotland. “One thing I always think about them is, when they click, they are a formidable side. On their day they are good enough to beat anyone – as they proved when they went to Ibrox and won. It has been a long time since we played, but having watched the players in training I sense a real hunger to get going again.”
Hibernian Team News:
Hibernian could give first starts of the season to Darryl Duffy and Merouane Zemmama after injury while midfielder Sean Welsh is also back in contention. However, goalkeeper Graham Stack is still missing and defender Sol Bamba rated doubtful.
Hibernian (from): Brown, Wotherspoon, Hogg, De Graaf, Rankin, Hanlon, Zemmama, Trakys, Stevenson, Galbraith, Dickoh, Grounds, Miller, Duffy, Murray, Smith, Nish, Riordan, Hart
Player to watch: Derek Riordan
Five goals in his last five games and an expected target for clubs in the January transfer window.
Dundee United Team News:
Dundee United have defender Garry Kenneth suspended, while Craig Conway, Scott Severin, Mihael Kovacevic and Darren Dods are still unavailable with injuries. But midfielders Danny Swanson and David Robertson have made recent recoveries and will be considered.
Dundee United (from): Pernis, Dillon, Watson, Dixon, Douglas, S Robertson, D Robertson, Swanson, Gomis, Buaben, Shala, Cadamarteri, Goodwillie, Daly, Russell, Dow, Armstrong, Mentel, Banks
Player to watch: David Goodwillie
Always the visitors best hope for goals although not scored in his last three games.
Match Facts & Stats
Hibernian crashed at home to fellow strugglers Aberdeen at the weekend and have lost three and drawn one of their last four games. Dundee United haven’t played for more than five weeks but did earn a creditable point in their last game at Celtic towards the end of November. The Tangerines will be looking for their first victory in four matches.