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    ICT V St Mirren - Preview

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    stmirren_a.pngAfter a poor performance against Motherwell the players have had a couple of weeks away from competitive football and everyone will be hoping they have taken stock, analysed where things went wrong and be ready to turn the tables on St Mirren.

    Gretna sit bottom but we only have a 6 point cushion and it is vital we start to points on the board and stop relying on their failings in order to keep our heads above water.

    Inverness CT v St Mirren Saturday 24th November @ 3pm Tulloch Caledonian Stadium

    Referee: Crawford Allan Others: Gordon Middleton, Steve Pullar (Assistants), Steve Mckendrick (4th official)

    FIXTURES Saturday 24th November: Falkirk v Rangers (Setanta, 12:30pm) Celtic v Aberdeen Hibernian v Dundee Utd Inverness CT v St Mirren Kilmarnock v Motherwell Sunday 25th November: Gretna v Hearts (Setanta, 2pm) SPL SO FAR After 12 games, it is of course the 2 old firm teams that are setting the early pace. However, no-one has told Dundee Utd or Hibernian yet and both teams (Utd and Hibs) are on the 25pt mark with Rangers, with Rangers only ahead due to goal difference. Even though Rangers beat Celtic in the only old firm game so far this season, Celtic have 28pts and are in pole position.

    There is a 5 point gap to a surprisingly rejuvenated Motherwell, who have progressed massively since last season. Mark McGhee has got his team to an unexpected 5th place and they will do really well if they can stay there into 2008. Hearts and Aberdeen have both had ok starts to the season, with 18pts a piece, but both know there is room for improvements. Kilmarnock have 16pts and St Mirren without star man Dargo who has yet to play a game have 14 pts and will be happy. Falkirk have 12 pts in 10th place and Inverness CT have 10pts in 11th. Inverness have yet to produce a run of results but hopefully we are due a run of victories sooner rather than later. If Inverness are to climb the league however, they must give away less penalties and tighten the defence. But thankfully for the Highlanders, Gretna are in the SPL and only have 4pts, but many feel that eventually Gretna will get a wee run going at some point.

    So, lets hope the SPL can add more thrills and spills over the coming weeks before we get our appetite ready for turkeys at Christmas. (sorry, had to mention xmas!!) PAST MEETINGS The teams have played a total of 25 times (11 League, 4 Cup) with 69 goals (49 Inverness CT, 21 St Mirren) between them. Inverness CT: 14 wins (9 League, 4 Cup) Draws: 6 (6 League, 0 Cup) St Mirren: 5 wins (5 League, 0 Cup) A GAME TO REMEMBER For this weeks game to remember we take you back to the first ever match between the teams. It took place on the 10th of August 1999 in the Scottish Challenge Cup. Inverness CT won the match 1-0 thanks to an 88th minute Mike Teasdale goal. The attendance on the day was 1334. The teams were as follows: INVERNESS CT: Fridge, Mann, Tokely, Hastings, Golabek, Teasdale, Christie, McCulloch, Sheerin, Stewart, McLean. Subs- Robson, Shearer, Glancy. ST MIRREN: Roy, McLaughlin, Turner, Baltacha, Nicolson, Murray, Drew, Kerr, McGarry, Brown, Yardley. Subs- Mendes, Lavety, Ross. The referee was Garry Mitchell and there were no bookings on the day. Two of the Inverness players from that match still play for the club. FACTS BETWEEN THE TEAMS

    • Inverness CT have won all cup meetings between the sides.
    • Inverness CT’s Paul Ritchie is the top scorer in the fixture with 8 goals. Next is Dennis Wyness with 7.
    • St Mirren’s top scorer in the fixture is Yardley with 3.
    • The biggest win in the fixture was when Inverness CT won 5-0 on 6/5/2000. McCulloch got 2, with Xausa, Wilson and Bavidge all getting one goal.
    • Inverness CT were unbeaten in 9 games against St Mirren at Love Street until the earlier fixture this season. St Mirren beat Inverness 2-1 with Don Cowie scoring his first ever goal for Inverness CT.
    • This fixture averages 2.76 goals a game.

    PLAYERS TO WATCH Marius Niculae (Inverness CT): The Romanian international made his long awaited debut for the club back in August. He is looking to get back into the Romanian squad for Euro 2008 and to do that, he will need to start banging in goals for the Highlanders first and there will be no better way to start than by helping Caley Thistle get a much needed victory this weekend. With Bayne suspended, he is bound to start, and surely this time, the goal will come. Craig Dargo (St Mirren): Not really a player to watch on the field for this game, but maybe you can watch him in the stands !!! Craig left ICT during the summer and joined the Paisley buddies. He was previously very prone to injuries but during his spell in the highlands he was very lucky and only had one injury that lasted a little more than a month. However he chose to leave ICT and look what happens .... he has now been injured for 3 months, and is not expected to return until Christmas or even the New Year. ICT fans will doubtless feel a little sorry for Craig as he was great for us, but as long as he is on the sidelines we have a better chance of getting 3pts on Saturday.

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