Xmas turkeys meeting
Inverness host Dundee United for Yogi’s second home match in the Highland capital for 2014. The first is one that we all want to forget as our neighbours staged a smash and grab raid, robbing us of three points. It was a dismal showing against County and the sending off of Ross Draper combined with the Motherwell game being called off means that Draper misses this clash.
Inverness and United fans have been as happy as turkeys at Xmas with their clubs poor points tally over the last few games, giving Aberdeen and Motherwell a bit of a cushion to rest on.
Ginger Jaggy has this preview for us..........
This game is crucial for both clubs with Aberdeen’s 1-0 victory over Hibs on Friday night taking them 11 points clear of both teams even though we have 3 games in hand. Also with Motherwell beating basement side Hearts 0-1 on Saturday it leaves us 13 adrift of the last European spot. Yogi is slowly trying to stamp his mark on the team and that could be complete next week with the appointment of an assistant. The UK weather is atrocious at the minute, but Inverness, may see a more tropical Caribbean front with media reports suggesting that former Falkirk player Russell Latapy will add a little spice to our season.
Since the defeat to Partick, our home form has gone a little wayward after turning the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium into a fortress in the earlier part of the season. That result had nothing to do with John Hughes but since his arrival all the points have come on the road with three successive home defeats to Aberdeen, Celtic and the 'Shadows'. It is crucial that Inverness start to find their home comforts again especially against a rival top six club. In fact this game begins a crucial run of games with Aberdeen to come next weekend before the little matter of our second league cup semi-final in a row at Easter Road. But first it is the visit of Jackie McNamara’s young charges. Both teams are out of form which means there is no clear winner for this game.
Inverness’ chances are further hit by missing Ross Draper with long term absentees Richie Foran and James Vincent still missing. This will lead to more reshuffling in the centre of our midfield. But a little of bit of good news is that Marley Watkins could return after a period on the side-lines with a dead leg. The omens are good for us in this match up so far this season as we hold a 100% record with two wins in league and cup so far. Hopefully that will continue on Sunday lunchtime in front of the Sky cameras (where we don’t have a great record) as we have to start winning again to keep our European dream alive with Motherwell and Aberdeen moving ominously clear.
United meanwhile are in a slight flux after a superb run of results in December had seen them rocket up the table. United were playing some stunning football with many of their young guns being linked with big money premier league moves. But a surprisingly heavy 4-1 defeat at St Mirren has ended with the Arabs picking up just one solitary point from four matches over the Festive period. The defeats were also hard for their fans as one was a heavy defeat in the Tayside Derby in Perth. Bragging rights were also sent to Aberdeen after surrendering a 1-0 lead to lose the New Firm derby in front of a sold out Tannadice. The point they did pick up was a battling recovery from 2-0 down to draw with in form Hibs. We have all heard of the young starlets at Tannadice with Ryan Gauld and Andrew Robertson being the stand out players at the moment. But they could be missing some crucial players for tomorrow. Nadir Ciftci will want to forget his last visit to the TCS, and he may have to wait for a chance to redeem himself as he is struggling with a groin injury. At the back Mark Wilson is definitely out and Gavin Gunning is struggling to be fit with a knock on his leg. This may be David Goodwillie's last game before he heads back to Blackburn, but they have replaced him with the loan signing of former Falkirk striker Farid El Alagui, who could make his debut tomorrow.
This will be a tricky game with both teams having excellent starts but not having great festive periods. With Aberdeen flying in second place and Motherwell consistently staying in the mix this is crucial for both teams. I would hope it would be an open game with both teams playing attacking football but it may be one of those tight games. So I think it may be decided by the odd goal and I will say that Yogi will finally lift his home hoodoo with a 1-0 win.