Dundee United v Hearts
Sat 15th Jan
After registering their first victory since November in midweek, Dundee United can make it two wins in three days as they host third-placed Hearts at Tannadice this weekend. The Terrors are currently in seventh position in the table and a full fifteen points behind their latest opponents, although they do have a couple of games in hand. However, the fixture was subject to an 11.45am pitch inspection after heavy overnight rain in the area.
"We played well and merited the win. I`ve been critical of the players in the last two games against Aberdeen and Ross County but we passed the ball better and created plenty of chances," Dundee United manager Peter Houston told the Daily Record after their midweek success over Motherwell. "Johnny`s [Russell] goal was so well deserved because he put in a great shift. The boy has a great chance in the game. He`s not even playing in his best position yet because he was out wide but he`s a right good striker and was a goalscorer through all the youth levels. It was also great to see a young lad like Stuart Armstrong coming on and being positive, driving forward and making runs into the box."
"We've no complaints. We were sloppy all around the pitch. That was nothing like the Hearts side of the last 10 weeks," Hearts boss Jim Jefferies told BBC Scotland following the shock midweek home defeat to St Johnstone. "So many players who've been outstanding were way short tonight. St Johnstone could've scored a couple of goals before they eventually did. I always said we would lose some time, and you felt 'if we're going to lose let's make sure we at least play well'. But the disappointing thing is we didn't play well and we didn't deserve to win it."
Dundee United Team News:
Barry Douglas returns after missing the win over Motherwell because of a head injury. Winger Craig Conway made his comeback in that game as a late substitute and is again in the squad.
Dundee United (from): Pernis, Dillon, Watson, Dixon, Douglas, S. Robertson, D. Robertson, Kenneth, Gomis, Buaben, Shala, Cadamarteri, Conway, Daly, Russell, Dow, Armstrong, Mentel, Banks, Goodwillie
Player to watch: Johnny Russell
Scored in midweek and seen as the likely long-term successor to David Goodwillie.
Hearts Team News:
Hearts are without their very influential Rudi Skacel while striker Kevin Kyle will need to shake-off a groin problem. Lee Wallace is considered doubtful but goalkeeper Marian Kello has recovered from a back problem and may start.
Hearts (from): Kello, Barr, Bouzid, Zaliukas, Stevenson, Palazuelos, Templeton, Elliot, Elliott, Balogh, Kyle, Jonsson, Mrowiec, C. Thomson, Novikovas, Wallace, Obua, J Thomson, Kucharski
Player to watch: David Templeton
Outstanding prospect and recently named as young player of the month for December.
Match Facts & Stats
Dundee United ended a sequence of five successive draws with their first win since November in midweek - a 2-0 success against Motherwell at Tannadice. Meanwhile, Hearts went down to a surprise 1-0 home defeat to St Johnstone in the Scottish Cup twenty-four hours earlier, which was their first reversal since October.