Writer: Vital Arabs
Date:Wednesday January 12 2011
Wed 12th Jan
Following their rather disappointing opening defence of the Scottish Cup at the weekend, Dundee United return to league action with a visit from Motherwell to Tannadice. Should they manage to get past Ross County in their replay next week, the holders would then travel to Hamilton Academical in the fifth round. For tonight the visitors will have new manager Stuart McCall in charge following the recent departure of Craig Brown to Aberdeen. He witnessed his side successfully progressing in the Scottish Cup at the weekend with a convincing 4-0 triumph at city rivals Dundee.
"Motherwell were impressive [against Dundee on Sunday]. They're trying to impress a new manager coming in and I thought it was a good performance," Dundee United manager Peter Houston told BBC Scotland. "What Motherwell have been fortunate with is they've not had a great deal of long-term injuries. We've suffered from that so far this season. When you can keep a group of players who do so well for them together and play more or less the nucleus of the same team together, it's great continuity and I'm jealous in many ways."
"We need to start picking up points in the league now," said new Motherwell manager Stuart McCall to BBC Scotland. "We were pleased with the cup result at Dundee, which has breathed a bit of confidence back in the boys but we need to be looking to the league now and trying to cement a top-six place. That is going to be difficult but I'm sure we're all aiming for the same thing."
Striker David Goodwillie returns after serving a recent suspension, while winger Craig Conway and midfielder Danny Swanson are back in contention for places on the bench. But there are currently doubts over both Barry Douglas and Jon Daly, with Scott Severin, Mihael Kovacevic and Darren Dods already confirmed absences.
Dundee United (from): Pernis, Dillon, Watson, Dixon, Douglas, S. Robertson, D. Robertson, Kenneth, Gomis, Buaben, Shala, Cadamarteri, Conway, Swanson, Daly, Russell, Dow, Armstrong, Mentel, Banks
Back from a ban and courted by other clubs but still the main threat.
Motherwell will again be without Stephen Saunders, while Marc Fitzpatrick is said to be currently deciding over a new contract offer after his existing deal ran out.
Motherwell (from): Randolph, Reynolds, Craigan, Hammell, Fitzpatrick, Sutton, Humphrey, Lasley, Hateley, Jennings, Murphy, Forbes, McHugh, Casagolda, Hutchinson, Hollis, Page, Pollock
Netted twice against Dundee in the Scottish Cup at the weekend.
Mixed fortunes in the Scottish Cup at the weekend. Holders Dundee United were held to a tame scoreless home draw by Ross County, while Motherwell were easing to a very comfortable 4-0 victory at their latest opponents' big rivals Dundee.
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Date:Wednesday January 12 2011
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