Scottish Championship - Tuesday 11/04/17 - KO 7.45pm - Tannadice
Odds (McBookie): Dundee United 20/23; Draw 13/5; Dunfermline 16/5
The financial necessity of a return to the top division has been made clear by Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson, who accepted foreign investment at the end of March to sustain the club financially through to the end of this season. United's title challenge has evaporated but they have an excellent record against the Pars, losing just 1 of the last 10 meetings of the teams. Dunfermline go into the game in second place in the Championship current form table, while United are last, based on form over the past 8 games. This will still be a difficult game for Dunfermline, who have played 7 away games against the top 4 clubs this season and won just once.
Our opponents -
Last five outings:
8 April - Championship - Drew 1-1 v Falkirk (H)
1 April - Championship - Lost 4-2 v Queen of the South (A)
28 March - Championship - Won 2-1 v Ayr United (H)
25 March - Challenge Cup - Won 2-1 v St Mirren (Neutral venue - Final)
18 March - Championship - Lost 2-1 v Raith Rovers (A)
United's run of 8 wins and 23 draws in a 10 game sequence between September and December must seem a long time ago to their supporters, who more recently have seen their team win just 2 of the last 13 League games, including 1 win in the last 8. From Championship challengers, they have fallen to fourth place in the division, and while they will qualify for the promotion play-offs, they may now have to face 2 extra games, in a 3rd v 4th play-off quarter final, making the prospects of promotion and a much-needed return to the Premiership all the more difficult.
United last kept a clean sheet in the League 9 games ago.
They have scored in 93% of their home games, failing to score in just 1 home game this season.
United have the best home record in the division, and have 4 more points at home than leaders Hibs.
United are bottom of the current form table in the Championship, with just 5 points from their last 8 games.
In the dugout
Capped 4 times by Scotland, McKinnon was a midfielder who played for 11 different clubs including 2 spells at Dundee United. Five of his clubs came in a period in 2001/2001 when he played a total of 8 games either as a trialist or on a short term contract, before he signed a 2 year contract with Montrose. His managerial career began at Lochee United in 2004. He has also managed Brechin City and Raith Rovers, and took over at Tannadice last summer.
Pars & Dundee United facts & stats
Head to head record - last 10 meetings:
Pars wins: 1
Dundee United wins: 7
Pars Review match reports from the games between the teams this season:
31 July 2016 - Dundee United 2, Pars 0 (League Cup)
10 September 2016 - Pars 1, Dundee United 3 (Championship)
8 November 2016: Dundee United 1, Pars 0 (Championship)
12 November 2016: Pars 0, Dundee United 1 (Challenge Cup)
28 January 2017: Pars 1, Dundee United 1 (Championship)
None of the Dundee United first team squad have previously played for Dunfermline.
Only one current Pars player has played for United - Callum Morris, who made 45 appearances for United between 2014-2016.
Here is the current Championship table:
Last five outings:
8 April - Championship - Won 1-0 v Raith Rovers (H)
1 April - Championship - Drew 1-1 v Hibs (H)
25 March - Championship - Won 1-0 v Morton (A)
18 March - Championship - Lost 1-0 v Ayr United (H)
11 March - Championship - Drew 0-0 v St Mirren (A)
Saturday's win over Raith Rovers eased any relegation fears for Dunfermline, and while the Pars are still not safe from at least a relegation play-off place, it would take a huge collapse for Allan Johnston's team and an unlikely positive sequence of results for the teams currently below Dunfermline, to bring that scenario about. The trip to Tannadice should not be feared despite our poor recent record there: United are not in good form, and if the players perform in the same manner as they did at Easter Road and Cappielow in the past month, 3 points could be taken back to Fife.
No change to Saturday's team.
Preferred starting 11, with squad numbers:
Tomorrow: Game Day image.
A match report/opinion with photos and Pars player ratings will be uploaded on Wednesday morning.