Scottish Championship - Tuesday 08/11/16 - KO 7.45pm - Tannadice
Odds (Skybet): Dundee United 8/13; Draw 3/1; Dunfermline 15/4
The first of a double-header between Dunfermline and Dundee United takes place at Tannadice on Tuesday evening when the teams play their 13th Championship fixtures of the season. The game was brought forward from Saturday 12th November, as the teams have been drawn together in the Irn Bru Challenge Cup at East End Park, which will now be played on Saturday. Tuesday's game will be the third meeting of the teams this season. The first game, a Betfred Cup game at Tannadice in July, saw United win 2-0. The second match, a Championship game at East End Park in September, resulted in a 3-1 win for United in a game that Dunfermline should have taken something from, missing 3 penalty kicks in the first half and a defensive mistake gifting United their opening goal.
Dundee United go into Tuesday's game on a good run of form, having won 5 and drawn 1 of their last 6 League games. They are also the Championship's top scoring team with 22 goals. After a mixed start to the season - winning 2, drawing 2 and losing 2 of their opening 6 League fixtures - Ray McKinnon's team found form towards the end of September and are unbeaten since. McKinnon, appointed manager in the summer following United's relegation from the Premiership, signed 11 new players and in the past few weeks they have overcome their indifferent start to move within 3 points of leaders Hibs.
Here is the current Championship table:
The performance against Raith Rovers on Saturday was Dunfermline's best and most encouraging for some time. Dundee United at Tannadice will be an even harder proposition and a disciplined approach will be required, with no unforced errors in important areas of the pitch. A clean sheet against Raith Rovers will give the defence some confidence, with Andy Geggan proving to be a more than capable makeshift full back. Nat Wedderburn's qualities as a defensive midfielder will also be crucial, protecting the back 4 and breaking up United attacks.
Pars line up: the manager's selection
Injured players: Ben Richards-Everton and David Hopkirk.
It would be a major surprise if manager Allan Johnston made any changes to the starting line-up. Saturday produced the best team display for some time and there are no obvious alternatives to bring in that would improve the team based on their display against Raith.
Preferred Pars line-up:
After correctly predicting the manager's line-up for the game against Raith on Saturday - although not the formation, as Allan Johnston stuck to his preferred 4-4-2 - I would hope and expect that the same starting 11 will begin the game at Tannadice. This game will be a greater test defensively than the Raith game, and so I would again suggest that a 4-1-3-2 formation would be preferable as opposed to 4-4-2, to strengthen the central midfield and not have a similar situation to the recent Hibs game where the 2 Pars central midfielders were out-numbered and over-run.
Line-up (with squad numbers):
Photos by Pars Review.
Tomorrow: Game Day image and full match report/opinion, photos and Pars player ratings.