Preview - Aberdeen (h)

Last updated : 02 April 2009 By Firparkcorner

Mark McGhee may have claimed this game is not a 'must win' but he is surely just trying to hedge the bets in case we draw. Certainly, with Hibs having a tough trip to Tannadice and then some further tricky fixtures, a loss will not automatically rule us out of the top six but it will certainly make it very hard to get there. And if we hope to catch Aberdeen and make a serious push for Europe, only three points will do.

A close thing last time

We have, for the first time in a while, reason for concern in the squad. Craigan, so important since coming back from injury, has picked up another strain. He missed the second Northern Ireland match over the break and we must hope that was only a precaution. If he isn't fit McLean will probably slot into the centre of defence beside Reynolds with Quinn returning to right back.

Maros Klimpl will also be a huge loss but given his style of play, suspensions are something both he and we have to accept. Quinn, if not at right back, could move inside beside Hughes while Lasley is another contender. Clarkson will be pushing for a start somewhere although he really does better up front than in midfield. Would we gamble on going back to 4-3-3 and pushing him up alongside Sutton and Sheridan?

Aberdeen have been solid enough this season in picking up points but they haven't been spectacular at any point and a devastating loss at home to Dunfermline in the cup has seen a section of the fans turn on the manager. They are still well placed in the league though and with a draw perfectly satisfactory to them here, they will be able to sit in. Mackie is out but Miller has been in form before injury and will return.

We may come up short eventually this season but it doesn't seem right that things should be settled so early. It might be nervy but we will be happy come full time with a 2-0 win.

Remember the last time Aberdeen visited?