Aberdeen vs Ross County: Dons looking to hit the ground running
Aberdeen beat Ross County home and away the last time the teams met in the 2017/18 Premiership season (Getty Images: Scott Baxter)

Aberdeen welcome Ross County to Pittodrie on Saturday as they look for their first Premiership win in two games.

Ross County famously came away from the Granite City with a 4-0 victory at the back end of the 2015/16 season and will be looking to upset the odds once again this time around.

Form guide

Derek McInnes' side struggled to create any clear cut chances in last week's 0-0 draw away at Kilmarnock, and despite keeping a clean sheet the travelling Red Army were less than impressed with their team's performance.

The Dons lost 1-0 in Paisley against St Mirren on matchday two which came a week after their dramatic 3-2 win at home to Hearts on the opening weekend of the league campaign.

Ross County, on the other hand, were taken apart by Livingston on their own patch in a 4-1 defeat last weekend, conceding three goals in the first half an hour.

But joint managers Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson have overseen a decent start for the Staggies in their return to Scotland's top flight, with four points collected from the first three matches.

The Dingwall side soundly dispatched Hamilton with a 3-0 scoreline on the first day of the season, before picking up a very impressive point in a goalless draw against Hearts at Tynecastle a week later.

Both sides also endured differing fortunes in the Betfred Cup against Championship opposition, with the visitors going out in a 3-2 defeat to Partick Thistle, whilst Aberdeen needed extra time to overcome Dundee

Who to watch out for

Despite failing to find the net in his previous two league matches, Dons striker Sam Cosgrove has been in fantastic form in the early part of the season. The former Carlisle man has already notched nine times in the current campaign, with five of those coming in the Europa League qualifiers in July, where he bagged a hat trick against Georgian side Chikhura Sachkhere.

The striker, who was rather sensationally linked with a move to Serie A giants Lazio last week, will be looking to put last week's poor display at Kilmarnock behind him, as he aims to make another strong challenge for the Premiership's golden boot after just missing out to Alfredo Morelos last season.

Similarly, Ross County forward Billy McKay has also regularly got his name on the scoresheet already this season, netting five times in eight appearances across league and cup.

The Northern Irishman's goals were instrumental in his team's run to lift the Championship title last May, helping himself to 17 league goals, and the 30-year old will hope to have another strong season in the Highlands as the Staggies look to avoid a drop back down to the second tier.

Team news

Aberdeen will still be without defenders Ash Taylor and Scott McKenna after the latter was ruled out for up to four weeks after his injury picked up at Rugby Park last week cost him a place in Steve Clarke's latest Scotland squad.

Ross County target man Lee Erwin is also facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after he injured his ankle during a reserve match.

The visitors will, however, be buoyed by the news that former Aberdeen defender Richard Foster has returned to the club after controversially leaving St Johnstone last week.

What the managers have said

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes has welcomed the Dingwall side back to the Premiership but is under no illusions about what is expected of his team in Saturday's encounter.

Speaking to RedTV at his pre-match press conference, he said: "Anything other than a win on Saturday would be a disappointment. We just need to put in a strong performance individually and as a team. 

It's up to us to find the answers when teams sit in against us and it's been frustrating at times this season."

Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson has praised his opposite number McInnes but has stressed the importance of getting a response to last week's heavy defeat to Livingston.

Speaking to the official club website, he said: "Everybody knows Aberdeen are one of the best clubs in Scotland. They have a brilliant manager in Derek McInnes and a great squad with quality in every department.

"We have to try and get a reaction from the players after last weekend, but they know that themselves. Last season we were fortunate in the fact that we didn't lose many games and now we have gone up a level it is a much bigger challenge for us all and we have to show the character and determination to pick ourselves up after a defeat."

Match details

The game kicks off at 3 pm on Saturday 31st August at Pittodrie and is available to watch on RedTV (outside the UK/Ire). Match highlights will then be shown on Sportscene on the BBC Scotland channel on Sunday at 7.15pm.