Craig Levein wants Aberdeen to suffer for Celtic’s Boxing day comeback, when they make the trip to Tannadice for this afternoons SPL match.
Dundee United were just 15minutes away from their firs twin at Parkhead in exactly 14years, but Celtic scored 2 goals in 2 minutes and snuck 2-2 draw.
“Now we have to look forward and try to take our frustration out on Aberdeen,” said Craig Levein.
“They are flying and even though we’ve had a resurgence in form we are still a little behind what they are achieving just now, although that’s understandable given the time Jimmy Calderwood has been in charge and the opportunity that’s given him to stamp his mark on the team.”
“I consider us underdogs going into this game, though not to the extent I’d be happy with a draw. It’s a match I am really looking forward to it. They’ll bring a big crowd and I am hopeful our punters will turn out in numbers too.”
“We’re both in good form, although I wouldn’t mind swapping league positions with Aberdeen!”
Levein is still disappointed after United lost 2 goals in the closing stages against Celtic. Before the match he said he would have been happy with a point, but after playing so well and being 2-0 up he was understandably gutted by the final 2-2 scoreline.
“Maybe I set my standards a bit high at Parkhead but it is still disappointing not to have won the game. Celtic did have one or two players out but on the day it was still a great opportunity to win the game.”
“We defended well as a team and were pretty steady overall. It is just that feeling of disappointment the next day when you know you had such a chance to take three points.”
The last time the 2 sides met at Pittodrie was during the pre-Levein era, when results and goals was more scarce and it was home side Aberdeen that won all 3 points with goals from Barry Nicholson(2) & Darren Mackie giving them a 3-1 win.
Since being freed by Dundee United, Lee Miller has b
Dundee United Team News:
Christian Kalvenes was expected to play at Parkhead, after returning from a suspension which saw him sit put the 1-0 home defeat to Hearts last weekend, but he missed the 2-2 draw with Celtic through illness.
The Dundee United defender has since recovered from the flu bug and is hoping to be part of the starting eleven to take on Aberdeen, though Noel Hunt(ankle) and Steven Robb(hamstring) are still out through injury.
Player to watch: Barry Robson
Barry Robson picked up a knock during the Celtic match, but the captain is expected to have recovered in time to take his usual place in the starting United eleven.
His energy and drive has pushed the whole side forward in recent matches and his crossing from the wing is a danger to any defence.
Against Celtic he was unlucky to see a well taken freekick fly just over the bar, whilst against Hearts he hit the crossbar and pulled out a great save from Hearts keeper Banks, with a curling freekick into the the bottom corner of the net.
Aberdeen Team News:
Aberdeen defender Russell Anderson picked up a knee injury against Kilmarnock om Boxing day and might not have recovered in time for the trip to Dundee, whilst defender Karim Touzani has also caught the flu bug and might not be fully fit to play.
Aberdeen boss Jimmy Calderwood still has Jamie Smith and another defender Richie Byrne out through injury.
Although, with Calderwood himself also suffering from the flu, it will by Jimmy Nicholl who will pick the side to take on Dundee United.
“United are a tougher prospect than they were a few weeks ago and you could see that by the way they were disappointed only to draw at Celtic Park this week,’ said Jimmy Nicholl.
“They have been winning for fun at Tannadice lately and all of a sudden they are enjoying playing there, so it has been a really quick change. Teams usually get a lift with a new manager, but that has been really dramatic trans- formation for Dundee United and we are aware of the threat that poses.’
Player to watch: Lee Miller
Another former United attacker who couldn’t score for Dundee United, but seems determined to score against them now that he’s playing for Aberdeen.
Match Facts & Stats
Last 3 meetings:
Aberdeen 3-1 Dundee Utd
21st October 2006, SPL
Venue: Pittodrie, Aberdeen
Referee: Craig Thomson
Darren Mackie (Aberdeen)
Barry Nicholson (2, Aberdeen)
Barry Robson (Dundee Utd)
Dundee Utd 1-1 Aberdeen
21st January 2006, SPL
Venue: Tannadice, Dundee
Referee: Iain Brines
Alan Archibald (Dundee Utd)
Darren Mackie (Aberdeen)
Dundee Utd 2-3 Aberdeen
7th January 2006, Scottish Cup
Venue: Tannadice, Dundee
Referee: Stuart Dougal
David Fernandez (2, Dundee Utd)
Stevie Crawford (2, Aberdeen)
Barry Nicholson (Aberdeen)
Predicting Dundee United results seems easier said than done. Expecting them to play badly against Celtic and then doing really well, expecting them to lose away from home against Motherwell, but turning in a performance.
Everyone seems to think this match will end in a draw, but since that’s the most obvious result to predict, it probably wont turn out that way.
Just think of an unlikely score line and that’ll probably be the way this match turns out…..
Prediction: Dundee United 3-2 Aberdeen.
Dundee United vs Falkirk (01st Jan 2007)
Hibernian vs Aberdeen (02nd Jan 2007)