During Craig Brewsters time as manager at Tannadice, Dundee United only won 2 SPL matches – one of those was against SPL newcomers Saint Mirren.
Two goals from Barry Robson and one from Stuart Duff gave Dundee United a 3-1 victory at Love Street on the 28th August, at a time when goals and points were in very short supply.
Now Saint Mirren are hoping to avenge that result and are coming to Tannadice on Sunday in search of 3 important points, which could take them away from the relegation dogfight that is developing at the bottom of the SPL.
At the moment only 4 points separate 4 sides at the bottom of the table, with Dunfermline & Motherwell both on 12 points, Dundee United on 14 points and St Mirren on 16 points – so a win for Dundee United would move them above St Mirren in the table, but a win for the Buddies would move them 5 points away from Dundee United.
Last weekend United lost 2 late goals to lose to Dunfermline at East End Park, but Craig Levein is determined to make sure that his side don`t lose to further lapses in concentration against the visiting Paisley side.
Levein told the Courier, “The performance against Dunfermline was okay but we have to concentrate for 90 minutes, which is something we`ve been working on in training this week and we have been urging the players to take greater responsibility on the park.”
He continued, “Moving above St Mirren should certainly be an incentive for us, especially after the Dunfermline result.”
Dundee United Team News:
Craig Levein only has 2 injury worries ahead of Sunday, David McCracken (hamstring strain) and Lee Wilkie, who hasn`t had much match practice side returning from an ankle knock last week.
United are likely to start with a similar line-up to the one which lost at East End Park last week, though there could be a surprise return for Colin Samuel to the starting squad, since he’s being languishing on the bench for several matches despite some impressive performances after coming on as a substitute.
Player to watch: Barry Robson
Captain Barry Robson has been very influential for Dundee United in recent weeks.
He scored the goal that put United 1-0 up against Dunfermline and is always causing problems for opposition defences with his teasing crosses.
Although he needs to start controlling his temper, the last time these two sides met he was sent off 5 minutes before the end, so can he can stay on the part until the full-time whistle this weekend?
Saint Mirren Team News:
Meanwhile. Saint Mirren boss Gus MacPherson has seen his side lose 3 (Aberdeen 2-0, Celtic 3-1 and Rangers 3-2) and draw 3 (Motherwell 0-0, Caley Thistle 1-1 and Falkirk 1-1) in their last 6 SPL matches.
St Mirren`s last victory was a 1-0 home win over high-flying Hibernian, when David van Zanten grabbed the only goal in the 38th minute.
Player to watch: John Sutton
Saint Mirren`s main goalscoring threat will come from 22-year-old John Sutton, who has scored an impressive 21 goals in 43 league starts for Gus MacPherson`s side.
Former Dundee United player, Tony Bullock is likely to turn out in goal, but the surprise addition to the Saint Mirren squad could be United`s former manager Craig Brewster – who has been linked with a move to Love Street as a player until the end of the season.
Match Facts & Stats
Last 5 meetings:
St Mirren 1-3 Dundee United
26th August 2006, SPL match
Venue: Love Street
Ref: Iain Brines
Garry Brady, 48mins (St Mirren)
Barry Robson, 12mins/53mins (Dundee Utd)
Stuart Duff, 34mins (Dundee Utd)
St Mirren 2-1 Dundee United
23rd April 2001, SPL match
Venue: Love Street
Ref: Hugh Dallas
Richard Gilles, 70mins(p)/90mins (St Mirren)
Steven Thompson, 53mins (Dundee Utd)
Dundee United 4-0 St Mirren
3rd March 2001, SPL match
Ref: Mike McCurry
Charlie Miller, 32mins (Dundee Utd)
David Hannah, 35mins (Dundee Utd)
Derek Lilley, 79mins (Dundee Utd)
Jim Hamilton, 81mins (Dundee Utd)
St Mirren 1-1 Dundee United
5th December 2000, SPL match
Venue: Love Street
Ref: Alan Freeland
Maikel Renfurm, 71mins (St Mirren)
Beta Naveda, 35mins (Dundee Utd)
Dundee United 0-0 St Mirren
16th September 2000, SPL match
Ref: Kenny Clark
Since arriving at Tannadice, Craig Levein has seen some impressive performances and 2 great victories in the SPL.
Most Dundee United supporters and Levein himself are hoping that last weekends defeat to Dunfermline was just a blip and that this weekend will see a triumphant United take all 3 points off visiting St Mirren.
Prediction: Dundee United 2-1 win
2nd Decemeber 2006
Hibernian v’s Dundee United
St Mirren v’s Hearts
Both sides have difficult matches next weekend against the Edinburgh sides, both of which are doing well at the right end of the SPL table.