Dundee United Preview
Updated Thursday, 1st January 2004
Dundee United will be the first foots at Fir Park in 2004. The result of the game will be important for both teams. The mini revival of Partick Thistle has given us cause for some concern and a home win would do a lot to ease the tension in the stands.
However, it is likely that we will be playing without Stephen Pearson. Even if his move to Celtic has not been completed, it is doubtful if he will play incase he picks up an injury. In any case, it is unlikely that Terry Butcher would want a player in the side who is already thinking about his move to another team. If the deal has been done, we may have a Celtic youngster available for selection. There are a few to choose from but the press suggest that Jamie Smith is top of the wanted list.
David Partridge will probably miss out meaning the defence will be unchanged, which is not a total disaster given the performance they turned in at Tynecastle. Our problem is likely to come at the other end of the pitch. We have not scored a goal in our last seven and a half hours of football and with Stevie Craig injured, we have little choice but to persist with Burns and Clarkson up front. David is a willing worker but he is not yet capable of leading the line as the primary striker. We all know that Toastie is a good player but his recent performances have been disappointing and it is beginning to look like he does not fit into our way of playing.
United made a slow start to the season but they have picked up recently and have taken ten points from their last five games. Billy Dodds has scored four goals in as many matches and he will be the threat we need to look out for. Of course, given our recent troubles in front of goal, even if the defence play well, they will be aware that one slip might be enough to cost us the game.
In all likelihood, this will be another dire game with much huffing and puffing but little in the way of football. If we can repeat our 2-0 success at Tannadice we’ll be laughing but we won’t be too disappointed with a 1-1 share of the points..