Second-placed Aberdeen have reduced Celtic’s lead at the top to just one point and will be looking to turn up the heat further when second-bottom Kilmarnock visit Pittodrie.
The Reds have recovered from a 3-1 loss at Inverness Caley Thistle – that broke an impressive unbeaten record – to draw with St. Johnstone and beat basement side Dundee United in the two games prior to Tuesday nights 2-1 victory at Partick Thistle.
Simon Church’s first half header was enough to hand the Dons three points at United and was his third goal in five games since joining the side back in January and the in-form Welshman is the one to watch out for with strike partner – and top scorer – Adam Rooney out injured.
He also grabbed the winner as the Reds came from behind to beat Thistle.
Manager Derek McInnes told the tabloid press this week that his side could take inspiration from Leicester City’s example in the Premier League as they look to knock the dominant Celts off top spot.
“At the start of the season our target was to beat our points tally from last year. I thought that would guarantee us second spot and European football. Where we are right now, we want to get past last season’s total as quick as possible. Hearts are chasing us down and we are chasing Celtic. We’re in the middle and have our own work to do. We won’t get pats on the back for finishing second. We want to push ahead of last season,” he said.
“There’s got to be a feeling when picking sides and managing games of how important wins are to us. We always try to win matches and when we are one up we always try to get a second. But it’s no use being unbeaten - we have to win games.”
“The good thing is we have good energy and good momentum. We are really looking forward to it. There’s no hesitation or dithering. It will be all out to win games.”
Kilmarnock boss Lee Clark has seen his side draw once and get beaten twice in the League since taking over in February and was left questioning his side’s desire after the defeat 2-0 by Ross County.
“At half-time, County looked like the team fighting for their lives, which was a real disappointment - you should have so much fire in your belly that I’m struggling to keep you on the pitch in terms of your controlled aggression. It shouldn't be letting people have free headers in the penalty area,” said Clark.
“We weren’t good enough in both boxes. It was two awful goals we’ve given away. The situations we created didn’t work the goalkeeper enough so I’m really disappointed.”
Killie haven’t found the back of the net in any of those three games since Clark came in and they’ll have their work cut out against an Aberdeen side that are hungry for success. They’ve scored six times in the previous meetings between the two sides this season, with Killie again failing to register.
Aberdeen Recent Form WWLDWW
Kilmarnock Recent Form LLWDLL
19/12/2015 Kilmarnock 0 Aberdeen 4
09/08/2015 Aberdeen 2 Kilmarnock 0
12/04/2015 Kilmarnock 1 Aberdeen 2
20/12/2014 Aberdeen 1 Kilmarnock 0
13/08/2014 Kilmarnock 0 Aberdeen 2
Aberdeen (4-4-1-1) – Brown, Logan, Taylor, Considine, Shinnie, Jack, Robson, Pawlett, McLean, McGinn, Church.
Kilmarnock (4-4-2) – MacDonald, Hodson, Balatoni, Findlay, Faubert, McKenzie, Kiltie, Dicker, Obadeyi, Magennis, McHattie.
Aberdeen: Rooney (inj), Hayes (inj).
Kilmarnock: Westlake (inj), Connolly (inj).