Dundee Utd V St Mirren at Tannadice Park : Match Preview

29 December 2012 01:01
Dundee Utd V St Mirren - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Watson aiming to prove fitness

Dundee United full-back Keith Watson hopes to recover in time to face St Mirren in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League on Sunday.

Watson went off nursing a shoulder injury in the Tayside derby draw against St Johnstone on Boxing Day.

Winger Gary Mackay-Steven is still out after breaking his hand recently while Sean Dillon is set to be sidelined again as he struggles to get over a thigh injury.

Manager Peter Houston believes there is no better time to end their Tannadice hoodoo.

The Tangerines have failed to win at home since August 19, when they triumphed 3-0 over city rivals Dundee, but they have since found it tough going on home soil with a succession of draws hampering their season.

United shared the spoils with Tayside neighbours St Johnstone in a Boxing Day 1-1 draw at Tannadice, that result coming after Houston's men threw away a 3-0 lead against Inverness, needing a late Jon Daly penalty to secure a 4-4 draw.

Now the Tangerines have a chance to make amends when Danny Lennon's Buddies visit on Sunday, and Houston wants to see his side end 2012 with a home victory.

He said: "It would be the ideal way to finish the year.

"We're looking to get a home win for ourselves and, of course, for the fans.

"Our home form obviously hasn't been what we'd like and we should have taken more points from certain games this season.

"But there's no point dwelling on it too much.

"What we have to try and do is go out there and get the three points which would make everyone associated with the club happy.

"I'm sure the fans will turn out in good numbers again so it's important we do everything possible to give them something to show for our efforts."

St Mirren will be without Kenny McLean after he underwent minor knee surgery which is expected to sideline him for a number of weeks.

But Marc McAusland and Jim Goodwin are both back from suspension, while Paul Dummett could also come into contention after missing the Boxing Day draw at Inverness with a muscle complaint.

Lennon said: "Dundee United beat us narrowly 1-0 here the last time with a late penalty after us taking the game to them. It's important that we bring all our key strengths.

"Dundee United perhaps don't start the first half of the season particularly well but we know, over their history, that they finish extremely well on top.

"That's something we must be aware of. Hopefully we've got them in the right half of the year.

"We have had good results in our last two games - a win and a draw - against two teams who are sitting joint second top of the league.

"That's encouraging and will breed a little bit of confidence.

"But the main part of our success is the group of players working hard for each other and playing as a team.

"That's been the key to our joy at this moment in time."

Source: PA