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Preview: Kilmarnock vs. Dundee United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Scottish Premiership clash between Kilmarnock and Dundee United, including team news and predicted lineups

Kilmarnock head into Saturday's encounter against Dundee United still looking for their first win in the Scottish Premiership this season.

Despite last weekend's defeat to Celtic, United make the trip to Rugby Park sitting in fifth position in the standings.


Match preview

General view of Rugby Park, home to Kilmarnock, from 2011© Reuters

On the back of earning a return to Scotland's top flight and a change in the dugout, Dundee United may have been content with simply remaining above the relegation zone during the opening weeks of the season.

However, under the guidance of Micky Mellon, the Terrors already have seven points to their name from five matches, only suffering narrow defeats to Hibernian and Celtic.

At a time when the future of striker Lawrence Shankland is still up in the air, Mellon will be delighted with the beginning to the campaign, while also demanding more from a group of players who have quickly found their rhythm.

There would have been a feeling of disappointment after losing 1-0 to the champions last weekend, especially with the decisive goal coming seven minutes from time.

Nevertheless, that setback may only whet the appetite to return to winning ways this weekend against opponents who continue to struggle for points.

Although Kilmarnock earned a share of the spoils against Celtic earlier in the month, Alex Dyer has witnessed his side fail to build on that impressive result.

Despite one of their three defeats this season coming at Rangers, there are few signs that a nine-match winless streak stretching back to February is going to come to an end.

Kilmarnock have squandered favourable positions against each of Ross County and St Johnstone, conceding goals in the final 10 minutes to record just one point instead of six.

At a time when his side possess the worst defensive record in the division, Gray will be concerned that a failure to end the sequence in the near future will have long-term consequences.

Kilmarnock Scottish Premiership form: LDDLL

Dundee United Scottish Premiership form: DWLWL


Team News

Tranmere Rovers manager Micky Mellon celebrates after the match on January 23, 2020© Reuters

Having witnessed his side battle gamely against Celtic, Mellon could opt to retain the same starting lineup.

That would see Nicky Clark retain his place in attack ahead of Louis Appere, who is yet to open his account for the season.

Should he pass a fitness test after a muscular injury, Shankland will only feature among the replacements.

Kilmarnock will again be without Ross Millen, who serves the final game of a ban for his dismissal against St Johnstone.

Dyer is expected to consider handing recalls to midfielder Mitchell Pinnock and forward Nicke Kabamba.

Alan Power will miss out after sustaining a hamstring problem last weekend.

Kilmarnock possible starting lineup:
Rogers; McGowan, Broadfoot, Findley, Waters; Pinnock, Dicker, Tshibola; Burke, Brophy, Haunstrup

Dundee United possible starting lineup:
Siegrist; Neilson, Connolly, Reynolds, Robson; Harkes, Butcher, Pawlett; Bolton, Clark, Chalmers


SM words green background

We say: Kilmarnock 1-2 Dundee United

Despite holding home advantage this weekend, Kilmarnock still look some way from getting their first victory on the board. That leads us to favour Dundee United, who have only suffered narrow defeats to arguably two of the best three teams in the division.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a draw or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Draw/Away:data

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Scotland assistant manager Alex Dyer pictured in September 2019
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