Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC face Dunfermline Athletic FC at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium looking to further extend their unbeaten run, and to build on the four successive clean sheets.
In their last outing, Inverness CT beat Dundee United 2-0 at Tannadice after first half goals from Iain Vigurs and Connor Bell. It was an impressive display from the Caley Jags, who now face a challenging match against the second placed team in the SPFL Championship.
Referee : Kevin Clancy - Assistants : Graham Chambers & Colin McAlpine
John Robertson made the following coments in the build up to the match: “Dunfermline are a side that have been in the Championship for the last couple of years and Allan Johnstone has built up his side in that time to become title challengers. They’ve got strikers such as Smith and Nicky Clark, who in particular, can score goals.”
“They have great wide players in Cardle, Higginbotham and Aird. They work extremely hard at the back too. They’re a good side, it’s a team that’s evolved over three or four years and it’s taken us a while to bed 13 new signings in very quickly to try and compete with these sides, but we are starting to get up to speed.”
“We’re starting to get up to level of results and performances we want and that’s what we’ll take into Saturday, it’s another bench test for us. We know what’s required and what we need to do. I think it would give the club and the fans a boost if we could take all three points and continue our little revival.”
Dunfermline currently sit second in the Ladbrokes Championship, just two points behind current leaders St Mirren. They are the highest scorers in the league this season, scoring 25 goals across their opening 10 matches.
Joe Cardle is current top scorer in the league with six goals, and he returned last weekend in the Pars’s 3-1 win over Livingston as he came off the bench after five weeks out. Kallum Higginbotham is only one goal behind Cardle as he is on 5, while Declan McManus has 3 to his name.
They are managed former Kilmarnock manager Allan Johnston, who took over the club in 2015 and the lead them to the 2015-16 League One title in his first year in charge and finished 5th in the Championship in his second season in charge.
Aaron Doran and Zak Elbouzedi completed 45 minutes each in a friendly game on Monday but are still need more game time before being available for the first team squad.
Doran said the following on his continued return from injury: “I’ve been training with the team for about a month, I am feeling sharp again and I played a friendly mid-week and I’m ready to go." It hasn’t been too bad this time, because I was out for 12 months the season before last.”
“It hasn’t been too bad this time. Because I was out for 12 months the season before last, I knew what I had to do and I was more positive this time; and I’ve done it quicker this time.”
Alex Cooper is the only fresh doubt for the weekend with an ankle injury.
Head to Head :ICTFC Wins : 11 - Draws : 14 - Dunfermline Wins : 6
Last Meeting : Dunfermline 5-1 ICTFC (12/08/2017)
It was one to forget for ICTFC at East End Park as Dunfermline hit 5 past the Caley Jags on the second day of the season.
Goals from Callum Smith and Lee Ashcroft but the Pars into a 2-0 lead, before Iain Vigurs scored a free-kick to make it 2-1. However, Joe Cardle made it 3-1 just before the break and second half strikes from David Hopkirk and Cardle again make sure of a comfortable win for Dunfermline.
|W||Dundee Utd (A) 2-0||W||Livingston (H) 3-1|
|D||Falkirk (A) 0-0||D||Queen of the South (A) 0-0|
|W||Peterhead (H) 3-0||L||Falkirk (A) 0-2|
|D||Queen of the South (H) 0-0||L||Dundee Utd (H) 1-3|
|L||Livingston (H) 1-3||W||Brechin City (A) 3-0|
|L||St Mirren (A) 4-2||W||St Mirren (H) 3-0|
ICTFC (V Dundee Utd) : Ridgers, Raven, Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Mulraney (Cooper 74) , Polworth, Vigurs (Oakley 88), Chalmers, Bell (Trafford 82), Baird.
Dunfermline (v Livingston) : Murdoch, Williamson, Ashcroft, Morris, Talbot, Higginbotham, Splaine, Wedderburn, Aird (Ryan 81), Clark, Smith (Cardle 81).