With a place in the Scottish Premiership at stake, the stakes really couldn’t be higher for Dundee United or St. Mirren. Dundee United have had great season after a fairly ropey start, they really picked it up in the middle of the season and finished strongly, finally finishing in 2nd place. With the prospect of automatic promotion taken away from them by Ross County, obviously Dundee United put all their eggs into the play-offs basket and after firmly brushing aside Inverness, the Premiership is almost in their grasp.
As I’ve just mentioned, the Tangerines comfortably brushed past Inverness in their Semi Final two leg clash 4-0. Beating them both home and away with a resounding 3-0 victory at home, completing quite a routine passage to the final. You’ve got to feel that with this momentum building around the team, they’ll be coming into this clash with St.Mirren full of confidence.
St. Mirren on the other hand have also finished the season very strongly, especially since the relegation split occurred five matches ago. Winning three and drawing two, this still didn’t prove enough to stop them slipping into the relegation play-off trap. With Hamilton securing a 2-0 victory at home to St. Johnstone, it consigned St. Mirren to the heartache of the play-offs.
As is the same with Dundee United, St Mirren started poorly and as the season has matured so have they. As I pointed out with their results since the Relegation split, which they topped quite convincingly, they’ve really given it a good go of trying to escape the dreaded play-offs route.
The home side come into this one with no fresh injury worries to declare, meaning they’ll be hoping to field the same starting XI as they did in the second leg vs Inverness. The only potential changes I can see are Pavot Safranko or Sam Stanton could be in line for a start after impressing following their introduction last time out.
The one thing that the Tangerines have really struggled with is an out and out striker to provide the goals. They’ve tried many combinations throughout the season, with the aforementioned Safranko and Nicky Clark leading their line with the most success this season.
St. Mirren will unfortunately not be able to call on a full squad for this clash. As Anders Dreyer, Cameron MacPherson, Danny Rogers and Greg Tansey are all still sidelined. The Saints will be heavily reliant on Simeon Jackson, who may not score the most but has been influential none the less this season.
I’m under no illusions that this match will be a cagey affair, as most play-off first legs usually are. The fact that both teams are in good form really does make it difficult to predict a clear winner. From the result market, I’m going to go for Dundee United – Draw No Bet @ 1.61, I just believe with their current form, the way they brushed aside Inverness and the buzz at Tannadice should see them home.
As I’ve said the match is more than likely to be a cagey affair, this points towards a lack of goals as neither team will want to put themselves out too much. With this in mind you can get Under 2.5 Goals @ 1.70, I believe the value lies in the unders market here as neither team will give too much away.
From a goalscorer perspective, Nicky Clark looks like the pick of the bunch and at odds of 2.80. He’s most likely to start for Dundee United and his impact could be difference between the two sides.
Dundee United – Draw No Bet @ 1.61
Under 2.5 Goals @ 1.72
Nicky Clark – Anytime Goalscorer @ 2.80