Dundee United v Motherwell

Scott Fraser and Scott McDonald

United and Well are eager for points as they seek survival

BBC coverage

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Dundee United hope to have Riku Riski in their squad after the Finnish striker’s comeback from a groin injury was delayed by a flu bug.

Defender Callum Morris remains out as the hosts look to eat into the 12-point gap separating themselves from second bottom Motherwell.

Motherwell midfielder Stephen Pearson is suspended, but captain Keith Lasley should shake off a shoulder problem.

Defender Ben Hall will also return from a hamstring injury.

Reporter’s notes

When Dundee United goalkeeper Eija Kawashima saved a late penalty from Hamilton’s Ali Crawford at the weekend to salvage a point for the visitors, those with allegiances to the Tannadice side may have thought their luck was about to change.

But, when you are rooted at the bottom of the table, very little goes your way and the news that Kilmarnock had pulled off a 2-0 win away at fellow strugglers Motherwell was another blow to United as they now find themselves 12 points adrift from safety.

All is not lost, however, because next up for Mixu Paatelainen and his players is a visit from a Motherwell side who are in freefall after five defeats and a draw in their last six matches.

Indeed, manager Mark McGhee called their performance in the weekend defeat by Killie as “diabolical”.

One other point in favour of United is that they have already beaten Motherwell earlier this season at Fir Park, where a Louis Laing own goal and a Simon Murray strike secured all three points.

United do appear to have turned the corner slightly in recent weeks, with three wins and a draw in their last five matches.

In the past 14 meetings between the teams, there has only been one draw, with United winning 10 and the Fir Park club securing only three wins.

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