Date: 31st December 2006 at 3:17pm
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Its not been a great end to 2006 for Christian Kalvenes – the Dundee United defender was sent off against Motherwell(a) after receiving a 2nd yellow card after only 30minutes.

Dundee United went on to win the match 3-2, but the red card meant Kalvenes had to miss the Hearts(h) clash through suspension.

Then, expected to return to the starting line-up to play Celtic(a) on Boxing Day, he picked up a bug that has been doing the rounds throughout the city of Dundee and was dropped from the side which drew 2-2 at Parkhead.

Not fully recovered from his flu bug, Kalvenes then missed the 3-1 win over Aberdeen(h) at Tannadice on Saturday as well, but the coming of the New Year might bring with it some better fortunes for the 29-year old.

A fully recovered Christian Kalvenes is expected to be part of the Dundee United side which takes on Falkirk at Tannadice on News Years day.

The last time the two sides met was Craig Brewster’s last match incharge at Tannadice, after a humiliating 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Bairns.

It was a match that Craig Brewster had to win to save his United career, but a goal from Russell Latapy after just 2minutes suggested it wasn’t going to be his afternoon.

It then got worse for Brewster’s side, after a hat-trick from Anthony Stokes (the first of 3 he’s scored this season) and a 75th minute strike from Mark Twaddle gave Falkirk the honour of inflicting Dundee United’s worst league defeat since losing 5-1 to Celtic on 22nd November 2003.

Vital Quotes:

Unfortunately for Falkirk, Anthony Stokes’s loan deal finishes on the 31st December and Arsenal wont be extending it any further, so John Hughes will be without the SPL’s top scorers for his side’s trip to Tannadice, but Alan Gow is expected to have recovered from a flu bug intime to make the game.

Although, Dundee United will also be without their top scorer, with Noel Hunt still out with an ankle injury he picked up during the 3-2 win over Motherwell(a). Steven Robb is also unavailable with a hamstring injury.

Midfielder Craig Conway is hoping that United can continue their impressive form and kick start 2007 wih a win over Falkirk at Tannadice.

“It is great to end the year in good form and hopefully we can now continue that in the new year”, said Conway

“It was a good result against an Aberdeen team who are doing really well in pushing for second place and I am delighted to get the win in front of our home fans.”

“I thought it was a good team performance and although they got a man sent off, we are just happy to get the result.”

Dundee United Team News:

Noel Hunt(out – ankle)
Steven Robb(out – hamstring)
Christian Kalvenes(returned – flu bug)

Player to watch: Barry Robson

The captain has been involved in most of United’s goals this season. He whipped a freekick into the box, which Collin Samuel headed into the net to equalise against Aberdeen and then he scored from the penalty spot to put United infront.

Along with Craig Conway, Robson’s crosses from the wings & set plays continue to cause problems for opposition defences.

Falkirk Team News:

Anthony Stokes(out – loan expired)
Alan Gow(returned – flu bug)

Player to watch: Russell Latapy

Latapy scored a 2nd minute strike against United the last time the two sides met, he has scored 2 in 2 games against his former side and created many more.

The ageing midfielder might not have much pace anymore, but he is a great reader of the game and his close control makes it difficult to take the ball off him at times.

Match Facts & Stats

Last 3 meetings:

Falkirk 5-1 Dundee United
28th October 2006, SPL
Venue: Falkirk Stadium
Referee: Dougie McDonald
Attendance: 5,386
Anthony Stokes (3, Falkirk)
Mart Twaddle (Falkirk)
Russell Latapy (Falkirk)
Collin Samuel (Dundee Utd)

Dundee United 1-2 Falkirk
29th July 2006. SPL
Venue: Tannadice Park
Referee: Charlie Richmond
Attendance: 6,616
Liam Craig (Falkirk)
Russell Latapy (Falkirk)
Barry Robson (Dundee Utd)

Dundee United 0-2 Falkirk
29th April 2006, SPL
Venue: Tannadice Park
Referee: Craig MacKay
Attendance: 5,798
Alan Gow (Falkirk)
Daniel McBreen (Falkirk)

Match Prediction:

Dundee United haven’t beaten Falkirk in their last 4 SPL meetings, but under Craig Levein a resurgent United side should get the better of them this time – even with the talented Russell Latapy in their side.

Dundee United 2-1 Falkirk

Next Fixtures:

Dundee United vs St Mirren (Scottish Cup, 7th Jan 2007)
Berwick vs Falkirk (Scottish Cup, 6th Jan 2007)

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