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Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Francisco Sandaza by Scott Allan. Indirect free kick taken by Frazer Wright.
Corner taken right-footed by William Gibson, clearance made by Johnny Russell.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Scott Allan on William Gibson. Indirect free kick taken by Callum Davidson.
Scott Allan on for Willo Flood.
(St Johnstone) makes a substitution, with William Gibson coming on for Liam Craig. Corner taken left-footed by Jody Morris, clearance by Garry Kenneth.
Callum Davidson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jon Daly. Paul Dixon takes the indirect free kick.
Ryan Dow is brought on as a substitute for Lauri Dalla Valle.
Booking for Francisco Sandaza.
Keith Watson fouled by Kevin Moon, the ref awards a free kick. Garry Kenneth restarts play with the free kick.
Keith Watson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Liam Craig. Keith Watson booked for unsporting behaviour. Liam Craig takes the indirect free kick.
John Rankin takes a shot. Peter Enckelman makes a save.
Carl Finnigan goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
Johnny Russell comes on in place of Barry Douglas.
(St Johnstone) makes a substitution, with Carl Finnigan coming on for Marcus Haber.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marcus Haber by Gavin Gunning. Free kick taken by Liam Craig.
Lauri Dalla Valle takes a shot. Peter Enckelman makes a save.
Scott Robertson fouled by Liam Craig, the ref awards a free kick. Garry Kenneth restarts play with the free kick.
Unfair challenge on Frazer Wright by Jon Daly results in a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Peter Enckelman.
Centre by John Rankin, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Lauri Dalla Valle misses to the right of the target.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Frazer Wright on Lauri Dalla Valle. Strike comes in from Garry Kenneth from the free kick,
Free kick awarded for a foul by Frazer Wright on Lauri Dalla Valle. Free kick taken by Paul Dixon.
Willo Flood concedes a free kick for a foul on Callum Davidson. Willo Flood booked. Callum Davidson takes the indirect free kick.
Lauri Dalla Valle fouled by Chris Millar, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Paul Dixon.
Unfair challenge on Callum Davidson by Willo Flood results in a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Callum Davidson.
Foul by John Rankin on Liam Craig, free kick awarded. Steven Anderson restarts play with the free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Francisco Sandaza by John Rankin. Liam Craig takes the indirect free kick.
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Willo Flood played to the near post, clearance made by Callum Davidson.
Francisco Sandaza is caught offside. Garry Kenneth restarts play with the free kick.
The offside flag is raised against Francisco Sandaza. Keith Watson takes the free kick.
Foul by Frazer Wright on Lauri Dalla Valle, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Barry Douglas.
Willo Flood challenges Liam Craig unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Peter Enckelman.
Header from deep inside the area by Lauri Dalla Valle goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
Corner taken left-footed by Liam Craig from the left by-line, Marcus Haber takes a shot. Save by Dusan Pernis.
Effort on goal by Willo Flood from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.
Kevin Moon challenges John Rankin unfairly and gives away a free kick. Barry Douglas has a direct shot on goal from the free kick, Steven Anderson makes a clearance.
Scott Robertson challenges Callum Davidson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Liam Craig takes the indirect free kick.
Barry Douglas concedes a free kick for a foul on David MacKay. Free kick taken by Peter Enckelman.
Houston hoping to stem flow of goals
Dundee United boss Peter Houston hopes hours spent on the training ground will pay dividends against St Johnstone.
Houston has been alarmed by his team's leaking of goals in recent weeks, with 19 shipped in just their last 8 SPL matches.
United's miserly rearguard has been the foundation for their success over the last few years and Houston held an extensive video session with his men on Monday to go over their mistakes.
That has been followed up by intensive work on their shape and defending from the front so he is hoping they can put it all into practice against Saints.
He said: "It has been obvious that we have lost too many goals in the last five or six weeks so that is something we have been working to address.
"The players watched the video back on Monday and we have been working hard to eradicate the mistakes which have been costing us.
"I have a good group of players and they are all honest boys. They have worked away very well and everyone is determined to put it right.
"Obviously we have not started the season like we wanted to but it is still very early days.
"There is no need to panic here, it's only October and we're just three points away from being in the top six.
"Getting into the top half of the table is the club's aim every season and we are not far away from doing that."
St Johnstone will be led by caretakers Alec Cleland and Jody Morris at Tannadice but Houston insists the identity of who is in the dugout will impact on the game.
The Saints players were not shocked to see Derek McInnes leave for Bristol City and been expecting his departure for some time.
And Houston insists he is only interested in what his own players do. He said: "Who is in the dugout for St Johnstone won't make any difference because they have a group of experienced players.
"They won't be thinking about it when they go on the park and it's not something we have been looking at.
"The big thing for us is getting back to playing the way we know we can so we are focused on our own game.
"It won't be easy because St Johnstone are a good side who have been doing very well this season."
United are without playmaker Danny Swanson for the Tayside derby as he faces up to two months on the sidelines with a knee injury.
That will rule him out of a Scotland debut against Cyprus next month but Houston reckons he will bounce back from his latest injury setback.
He said: "It's such a shame for Danny because he has been in good form but there's nothing you can do.
"He worked very hard to get fit again and was playing so well he won a call up for Scotland.
"So it's a shame for him but he's a tough character and will be doing everything he can to get back as soon as possible."
Defender Sean Dillon is unlikely to make it after failing to resume training after a calf injury.
St Johnstone caretaker manager Cleland admits motivation should not be a problem as he and captain Morris take charge of the team.
The pair were installed in the joint temporary role after McInnes left Saints for the Robins on the back of four wins from five games.
The Perth side travel to Tannadice eight points ahead of United in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League, and Cleland believes the local rivalry will ensure a committed display from his players.
Cleland, himself a former United player, told St Johnstone's official website: "The one thing is you don't need to get players up for a derby. The game takes care of itself.
"The fans will be looking forward to it, as will the Dundee United fans.
"And their players, they have had a couple of bad results so they will be looking for improvement.
"We are going in really confident so it has all the ingredients of a great game.
"Myself and Jody are looking forward to it. He has got to play so he has the double header.
"But I'm looking forward to it because I know it's going to be a great atmosphere."
Cillian Sheridan is a doubt with a hamstring injury but Cleland is otherwise not intending to change a winning team following their 2-0 triumph over Inverness last weekend.
"I can't see there being that many changes in the squad," he said.
"The team has been doing well, four out of the last five we have won, so it would be silly to come in and start changing things now."
Saints recover from McInnes exit
Life without Derek McInnes began with a creditable 0-0 draw for St. Johnstone as the Perth side emerged unscathed from an insipid encounter in Tayside.
Dundee United struggled to penetrate their organised, industrious opponents throughout, although they did see a stunning Garry Kenneth drive smash against the crossbar in the second half.
The busy Lauri Dalla Valle also saw a series of efforts fail to find the net, as the home side's attacks were continually repelled by a wall of blue.
Chances for the visitors were at a premium, but Dusan Pernis had to be alive to deny Francisco Sandaza an opener with a fine sprawling save, blocking the Saints' best chance.
St. Johnstone's caretaker duo of Alec Cleland and Jody Morris will have every reason be pleased with a courageous point on the road but United will once again rue a lacklustre home display.
The Terrors have still only won once in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at home this season and have slipped perilously close to the foot of the SPL.
Danny Swanson, out for two months with a knee injury, was replaced by Lauri Dalla Valle. Keith Watson and Barry Douglas also replaced Scott Allan and Johnny Russell.
Saints made just one enforced change from the recent 2-0 victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle, with Cillian Sheridan replaced by Marcus Haber.
The home side was the first to threaten in what was a fairly turgid, scrappy opening. A hopeful long ball was poorly dealt with by Dave Mackay after five minutes, allowing Dalla Valle to steal a march on him, but the Finnish forward's drive was saved by Peter Enckelman.
The Perth side sparked into some semblance of life after a quarter of an hour. A cutting through-ball from Callum Davidson found the scampering Kevin Moon but his effort was deflected wide.
From the subsequent corner the towering Haber nodded inches wide of the post, following Liam Craig's deep delivery.
A somewhat muted Tannadice was awakened with the first truly slick move of the match midway through the half. Jon Daly found Watson bolting down the right flank with a beautifully weighted pass. The 21-year old's cross was impeccably measured for Dalla Valle, but his near-post header flashed just over the bar.
While United were struggling to break down the Saints, Frazer Wright almost did the job for them. The big defender, twisting awkwardly, pushing a Watson cross inches wide of his own net with his knee.
An eventful couple of minutes for Wright continued when he headed over at the right end after Kenneth had been caught under the ball from a Davidson cross.
Kenneth, who endured a couple of haphazard moments in the first period, almost opened the scoring three minutes into the second half with a blistering drive. The Scotland international blasted a thunderous free-kick from 30 yards which crashed against the bar, with Enckelman utterly stranded.
The sides then traded terrific chances in a lively opening to proceedings in the second period. Firstly, Dusan Pernis had to be sharp to block a scuffed Sandaza effort after Paul Dixon failed to deal with a looping ball into the box.
That was immediately followed by Dalla Valle - the on-loan Fulham man proving a constant threat - firing just wide of the post following an excellent John Rankin delivery.
United were inches away from claiming a precious breakthrough with 25 minutes to play. Barry Douglas bravely got his head onto a Watson cross, but the effort drifted wide with the keeper bearing down on him.
It proved to be the last real chance as a close encounter descended, once again, into a grim battle, achingly devoid of class.
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