Aberdeen host Highlanders Ross County and the Dons will be keen to continue the recent improvement in form that has seen them get back on track.
The Pittodrie outfit missed out on the chance to go second as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Hamilton Accies in a live TV game last Sunday but can be expected to come out all guns blazing this weekend against a County side that put the stops on a run of three straight defeats by beating lowly Motherwell 3-0.
That win will have certainly boosted the confidence in the Highland camp ahead of their trip to the Granite City with youngster Tony Dingwall and Craig Curran netting cracking efforts before Liam Boyce put away a late penalty to round things off.
Despite the wobble which has seen Derek McInnes’s side pick up just five points from their last six games, Aberdeen have stayed in the top three thanks to their storming start to the season and they will be determined to start wracking up the points again in the run up to the always hectic Festive season when pitches get heavier and legs wearier.
That’s when the importance of a good squad comes in to play and with the Dons being injury and suspension free, McInnes has the luxury of being able to select his strongest side for the encounter.
Although both sides share similar goals for and against in the table, it’s Aberdeen who are the bookies favourites to win this one and it is with some justification despite going down 2-0 to the visitors at the Global Energy Stadium just last month.
County were the better side on the day but hit-man Brian Graham, who netted twice in that encounter, is sidelined through injury and Aberdeen look to be coming out of that poor run of form that they suffered. The defeat at County was their third in a row of a shocking dip that saw them pick up just one point across five dismal weeks.
A 2-0 win over basement side Dundee United was welcome but not indicative of a great turnaround in fortunes so Aberdeen need to turn on the early style that they showed in romping to the top of the table if they are to convince punters to start backing the side again.
They’ve been a shaky bet at best in recent weeks and although Kenny McLean fired them into an early lead last weekend, they couldn’t hold out for the three points against a side that hadn’t won in their last five.
County are in fifth spot and had been beaten by Hearts, Dundee United and Celtic before that confidence-boosting win over ‘Well so you get a feeling that both sides might settle for a point and see it as a decent result.
With odds of around 3/1 on the draw it looks like a reasonable punt but the bookies are right on Aberdeen to win it. They certainly need the three points to keep them in the mix at the top but don’t discount the chances of County holding out for a stalemate.
Aberdeen Stats W9 D2 L4
Recent Form LLDLWD
Ross County Stats W6 D3 L6
Recent Form WLWLLW
16/10/2015 Ross County 2 Aberdeen 0
07/02/2015 Aberdeen 4 Ross County 0
03/11/2014 Ross County 0 Aberdeen 1
20/09/2014 Aberdeen 3 Ross County 0
25/03/2014 Ross County 1 Aberdeen 1
Aberdeen (4-4-1-1) –Ward, Logan, Taylor, Reynolds, G Shinnie, Hays, Flood, Pawlett, McLean, McGinn, Rooney.
Ross County (4-4-2) – G Woods, Fraser, Davies, Boyd, Foster, Franks, M Woods, Irvine, Dingwall, Boyce, Curran.
Ross County: Fox (inj), Graham (inj), Gardyne (inj).