Dundee United v Saints Preview

Last updated : 21 January 2009 By Stuart Gillespie
United are going along quite well this season and the fact they lost to Motherwell at all, let alone by four goals, was a relatively big shock. From the highlights it seemed their problem was the sort of silly defending you normally see from our players and it's unlikely they'll be so generous tomorrow. Teams rarely make bad errors like that against us - unless it's Brechin - so we'll have to try to break down United's usually mean defence in the usual fashion.

In fairness, our own defence has been fairly mean in recent weeks as well. Last week's game against Hibs was the first time we'd conceded a goal in the league since we played Falkirk at the start of December. OK, we haven't exactly been banging them in at the other end, but if you can keep a clean sheet you're always guaranteed a point. John Potter and Scott Cuthbert have been doing well in the absence of Will Haining, while Jack Ross has been in fantastic form at right back and is often causing a few problems down the other end.

Judging by the reports, it seems we played reasonably well last week but couldn't put the ball away. Let's hope that was down to the awful pitch and is not a sign of our strikers returning to their old ways. We had to make do without Jim Hamilton at Easter Road and he could well be missing again, although it's possible he'll be on the bench. As a result, we'll be starting with two from Craig Dargo, Dennis Wyness and Billy Mehmet. Dargo and Wyness have done well together, but Mehmet is our top scorer and gives us a bit of physical presence. It really is anyone's guess who starts and I've no real preference at this stage.

Elsewhere in the side, I'd like to see Steven Robb come back into the team. He gives us a bit of width on the left hand side of the park as well as some pace. He's also left footed. Stephen McGinn has been reasonable there in the past month or so but it's perhaps time for him to be dropped. The rest of the team will probably be the same as it was last weekend, with Steven Thomson once again on the bench. Haining and Stephen O'Donnell are still out, while Tonet is injured.

United have been doing exceptionally well this season and have already beaten us twice, the win at Love Street far easier than their victory at Tannadice. Jon Daly has been in superb form for them up front, while at the back Lee Wilkie looks as if he's finally shed the impression that he's a talentless lump. There are players of good quality throughout the team, with the likes of Scott Robertson, Craig Conway and Morgaro Gomis just some of the weapons they have at their disposal.

Despite that, I think we'll take all three points and set ourselves up nicely for the first game at our new ground.