Inverness get the opportunity to right a few wrongs on Wednesday night with a visit to Tannadice to play Dundee United, the team that rattled five past us without reply a couple of weeks ago in the Scottish Cup, not to mention we ended the game with only nine players on the park.
The games really are coming thick and fast with another midweek game to contend with. This time though we can look forward to it with a bit more optimism after ending our recent drought with a 1-0 win over Partick Thistle last Saturday.
We have had some entertaining and high scoring games with United, but the 5-0 Cup game was out of character somewhat. It's fair to say that Inverness maybe had one eye on the league cup final at that stage and the volume of games were beginning to take their toll. Well, we only have eyes for the league now and whilst I expect a tough game, I would be surprised if either of the clubs run away with this one.
Our overall record at Tannadice has been decent, winning almost as many games as we have lost there. Our best performance was a 4-0 thrashing of United in August 2011, and who can forget the amazing 4-4 draw in December 2012, coming back from the dead to almost win it. So, we can create and score goals at Tannadice, but United have been threatening to swamp teams recently, winning five of their last six games and are bang in form just now. We have had a torrid time of it over the last six league games but have till managed to win three of them, including a tremendous away win in the local derby.
It was good to get back to winning ways at the weekend and a bonus that Billy McKay it was that scored the winner. Mind you, he did his best not to score by spurning a great chance earlier when he sliced wide from a great position. Our problems arise when Billy fails to hit the net as no one else seems capable of scoring at the moment.
United can't stop scoring just now and Nadir Ciftci is beginning to show his worth with goals aplenty. He scored twice against us in the cup and he scored a brilliant winner against Hearts last Friday. They have scored 19 goals in their last 7 games, and that includes drawing a blank against Perth.
Inverness fans are fairly unanimous on one thing, and that is seeing more of Ryan Christie on the park. The youngster is destined for greater things and recent cameo appearances have whet the appetite for more game time from him, but that will be up to the gaffer.
Carl Tremarco is banned for this one and Aaron Doran is undergoing treatment for his hamstring injury which kept him out of the Partick game. Yogi could freshen the side up and Marley Watkins, Nick Ross and Christie came off the bench at the weekend to ease the pressure of those on the park, Vincent, McKay and Foran in particular looking jaded after the tough schedule we have endured. Richie Foran picked up yet another yellow card and seems to be on a mission to top the yellow card charts, such is the aggression he is showing in the tackle department. He maybe needs to chill out or channel his energies into constructive and creative play rather than lunging at opponents and running the risk of leaving us playing with ten men. Danny Williams did his prospects no harm against Partick and can only get stronger as he gets some playing time and Danny Devine can consider himself unfortunate to have found himself on the bench as Gary Warren returned to the starting X1.
United could be looking to rotate some of their squad with a view to some tough games looming and it is them that have the small case of a cup semi-final coming up. They play Aberdeen, Celtic and The Rangers in succession. That could see Ciftci being replaced by Brian Graham up front with their minds on the Aberdeen game where Ciftci is suspended. Gary Mackay-Stevens has not been 100% recently and Keith Watson is also suffering and neither may start with bigger fish to fry after us. On loan defender Curtis Good is still out with a hip injury.
tm4tj prediction:- We call a lot of games tough, but this one scares the sh*t out of me given the Arabs current form and our lack of punch in front of goal. We had a shocker of a first half against Partick but turned it round after the break. I doubt United will be so lenient, and if we don't get our act together pronto, we could be in for a difficult night. Dean Brill will be an important player on Wednesday and he put in a confident and inspiring display to shut out Lyle Taylor on Saturday. Another of the same against United could see us take a point back up the road, but it won't be easy, although the opportunity exists to get some modicum of revenge for the cup drubbing.
Of course there is the prospect of climbing above United should we win, so plenty to play for. Bring it on!