Aberdeen v Saints preview
By Stuart Gillespie
Updated Friday, 18th September 2009
The last time we won at Pittodrie, Mel and Kim were topping the charts, Ronald Reagan was the American president and I was two years old. The year was 1987 and it's about time we ended our terrible record, home and away, against Aberdeen.For more than half the last 22 years we were a league lower than Aberdeen, making it difficult for us to win there. However, it is a ridiculous amount of time to have gone without a win. By comparison, we've won at every other ground in the top two divisions in that period - including Ibrox and Parkhead. Our home record against Aberdeen is also poor - no wins since we returned to the SPL - so it's time to right some wrongs. The last time we won in the Granite City we won the Scottish Cup two months later, so a victory on Saturday would be a nice omen!
It's going to be difficult, partly because we're up against a better side but mainly because of the tactics we continue to deploy. We created very little against St. Johnstone on Saturday and I can't see things being any easier away from home. The main problem is the midfield as we continue to field four central midfielders and leave the wide players on the bench. It's surely time for one of Steven Robb, Tom Brighton and Stephen O'Donnell to be given their chance in place of Steven Thomson or Andy Dorman. St. Johnstone showed exactly how useful width can be and wingers are a must if we're to continue with the big men up front, although Craig Dargo could start.
The rest of the team will probably stay the same. Mo Camara and Chris Innes are only fit enough for the bench at best, so the defence and goalkeeper will be the same. Aside from the odd moment, the back five haven't been too bad. The problem is in front of them in terms of creating chances and scoring goals. No real surprise when you consider how slow and laboured our game plan is at times.
This is our first chance to come up against Aberdeen since loveable Mark McGhee took over them in the summer. The Muttley lookalike isn't best liked by many Saints fans for numerous reasons and it would be enjoyable to get one over him. While he was part of Aberdeen's success in the early 1980s, he didn't exactly endear himself to his new fans by telling them he'd have preferred the Celtic job! Apparently a home game against a diddy team like us is the chance for him to break out the "brave" tactics, which probably means they'll be more attacking. This might suit us as we usually try to sit in and play on the break.
However, an attacking Aberdeen side is still one to worry about. Lee Miller is always a threat, Sone Aluko will cause havoc with his pace and Charlie Mulgrew can supply the strikers when he's not scoring superb free-kicks. With the likes of Zander Diamond, Richie Foster and Jamie Langfield at the back, they have a very good unit that willprobably cause us plenty of problems while snuffing out what we have to offer up front.