St Mirren v Aberdeen preview: Buddies looking to get off the mark against jaded Dons
Scott McKenna remains an Aberdeen player for now, but has transfer talk unsettled the centre-back?. Photo by Mark Runnacles/GettyImages

St Mirren v Aberdeen preview: Buddies looking to get off the mark against jaded Dons

Aberdeen's Europa League travels may see them struggle on Sunday.

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Graham Davidson

St Mirren will be looking to capitalise on Aberdeen's poor showing in Europe on Thursday in their first home game of the season.

While both sides come into this game off the back of defeats, Buddies boss Jim Goodwin will be by far the happier of the two managers with his side's most recent performance. While Derek McInnes' side gave a frankly disappointing account of themselves in the Europa League in Croatia mid-week, the Paisley side were unlucky not to claim a point at Hibs last weekend.

Unsettling transfer rumours

While the Aberdeen squad were perhaps unsettled by rumours surrounding a possible last-minute move to either Nottingham Forest or QPR for Scott McKenna, morale may well have taken a dent after failing to get any sort of foothold in the game. The Buddies, on the other hand, will be greatly encouraged by their battling display at Easter Road last Saturday - in particular, the hugely promising debut of Ilkay Durmus on the left side - and will be looking to take advantage of a possibly fatigued Dons side.

While these sides are with some justification predicted to finish at opposite ends of the SPFL table this season, expect this to be a close one. Although Aberdeen crushed the Paisley side in early league and League Cup encounters at Pittodrie early in 2018/19, they only won narrowly on their one visit to St Mirren Park last term, while the sides shared the points in the north-east in the most recent encounter. A single goal victory for either side is more than possible on Sunday.

Team News

Aberdeen goes into the game with a considerably healthier set of defensive options than they had a week ago. New loanee Zak Vyner is available immediately, while Mikey Devlin may be in contention for a start after making the bench midweek. Elsewhere, the Dons punishing early-season schedule may tempt McInnes to rest key players ahead of Rijeka’s visit next week. Niall McGinn and Ryan Hedges may again drop to the bench in favour of Scott Wright and James Wilson, while Bruce Anderson, or more likely Curtis Main, may be used as a lone striker to give Sam Cosgrove a weekend break. Marquee summer signing Craig Bryson remains doubtful, however.

McInnes today sought to play down the impact of the doubt surrounding McKenna's future on the team and praised the 22-year-old centre-back for his performance on Thursday. The Aberdeen manager told a press conference that "he never put a foot wrong - very focussed, very aggressive, full of concentration."

For St Mirren, new signings Kyle McAllister and Calum Waters will be in contention, although striker Cody Cooke will be missing for at least the next three months. Waters, in particular, may start on Sunday, with Goodwin telling a press conference that he was “looking forward to getting him in the team.” The Buddies manager also praised his other new signing, calling him "technically fantastic, very creative and a crowd-pleaser as well."

Predicted Line Ups

Aberdeen

Lewis, Leigh, Considine, McKenna, Vyner, Campbell, Ferguson, Ojo, Wilson, Main, Wright

St Mirren

Hladky, Waters, McLoughlin, MacKenzie, McGinn, Flynn, Foley, Magennis, Andreu, Durmus, Mullen

How to follow St Mirren v Aberdeen

No live TV coverage is available in the UK, but both Red TV and St Mirren TV subscribers outside of Britain can watch the match. Highlights will be shown on Sportscene on BBC1 at 19:15 on Sunday. 

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