Dons entertain Hibees at Pittodrie
Scott Vernon found the net in the sides' last meeting.

Dons entertain Hibees at Pittodrie

Hibernian travel to the North East to face in-form Aberdeen.

Jamie Hall

Aberdeen host Hibernian at Pittodrie on Friday night in a clash between two of the Scottish Premiership's form sides.

The Dons have won seven of their last eight games and lie second in the table, while Hibs are unbeaten in five under new manager Terry Butcher.

Craig Murray has recovered from illness and is expected to return to the Aberdeen squad, while new signing Alan Tate could make his first start following Michael Hector's return to parent club Reading. Andrew Considine and Clark Robertson remain sidelined through injury.

Meanwhile, Hibs youngster Alex Harris has been passed fit to play following a broken foot which has kept him out since August, meaning Butcher has a full squad available to him.

Dons manager Derek McInnes was full of praise for Butcher's work since arriving at Easter Road:  "I think it's going to be a tough match. They are in a fantastic bit of form at the moment.

"The biggest compliment I can pay Terry Butcher and his team is that I am not surprised they have improved.

"He finds ways to win games and his players look as if they are well versed in what he demands.

"Hibs have always had good players, but I think they have an identity now and it's not too dissimilar to how his Inverness team played.

"I think Hibs will expect a tough match from us as we are in decent form, so it's two clubs who have good support and hopefully they will all come out and make the game that bit more special."

Meanwhile, the Hibs boss was hopeful of an entertaining encounter: "The game against Aberdeen is shaping up to be a cracker.

"Both teams are on form, both are scoring goals and both will want to have a go at each other, so it should be a good game."

The last meeting between the sides ended with a 2-0 victory for Aberdeen at Easter Road in October, with goals from Scott Vernon and Gregg Wylde.

The hosts can consolidate their position in second with a victory. However, if the visitors are victorious, they could move to within two points of Inverness in fifth.