Premiership action resumes against Aberdeen

The Scottish Premiership action resumes this weekend after the September international break, and Saints welcome Aberdeen to McDiarmid Park in a 3PM kick-off on Saturday.

The visitors have five points from their opening four games, while Tommy Wright's men have picked up seven points so far and are unbeaten in the last three Premiership games. Saturday's opponents suffered a 2-0 defeat at home to Kilmarnock last time out.

Two of the club's late signings in the summer transfer window could be in line to feature. Ross Callachan was named on the bench against Hamilton but did not make an appearance, and Danny Swanson is also available for the weekend after rejoining from Hibs.

Saints struggled against Aberdeen last season and suffered a 3-0 defeat to Derek McInnes' side at McDiarmid Park in the previous campaign. Out of the three matches between the clubs in 2017/18, Aberdeen picked up maximum points and Saints managed just one goal coming in our 4-1 defeat at Pittodrie in March.

Fresh from the international break, Tommy is hoping that his players can continue their good start to the season and put a halt to our run of league defeats against The Dons.

"We've been doing well," Tommy said, "and we need to pick up where we left off on Saturday against what is a strong Aberdeen side.

"They've made a lot of changes to their squad over the summer and that sometimes takes a bit of time before it starts to gel. They might be a little disappointed about their start but they're a good side with a very good manager and it's going to be a tough game.

"We had a poor record against Aberdeen last season and we want to put that right. We conceded a lot of goals against them from set plays which was very disappointing.

"We've already proved that we are a match for the stronger sides in the league with our performance against Hibs. I go into every match we play with the mentality that we can beat anyone on our day and it's the same on Saturday.

"I feel like our performances have been improving each game we have played and apart from the first match against Kilmarnock it's been a very good start. Hopefully we can continue that at the weekend."

Ross Callachan and Danny Swanson - the two final signings of the summer - could feature on Saturday but Murray Davidson, Liam Gordon and Brian Easton are sidelined through injury

Tommy has lots of options to choose from but the manager isn't worried about any selection headaches.

"I can only pick eleven starters and a squad of eighteen," he said.

"The reality is there will be first-team players who don't even make the matchday squad and that is part and parcel of having good strength in depth at the club.

"I don't really think about it as having a selection headache or dilemma because as a manager I'm delighted to have a number of high quality players to choose from.

"Liam Gordon is struggling with an achilles problem and won't return to training until next week. Steven Anderson has also had a slight problem but we've managed that and he is available.

"Murray is making excellent progress from his ankle operation and we're awaiting another consultant's report on Brian Easton before knowing how long he will be out."

The players were given a short break over the international period and the manager believes it will stand his squad in good stead by making the most of these breaks throughout the season.

"Every club does it differently," Tommy said, "and there is no right or wrong way to handle international breaks.

"The way we do it seems to work for us particularly in the latter stages of the season as our players remain fresh.

"They've still been working during the break but were given time off to spend with their families too. Obviously the timing of the international break wasn't ideal as when you're on a run you like to keep momentum going but it's the same for both sides and we've had a good week of preparation ahead of Saturday's game."

Kick off on Saturday is 3PM at McDiarmid Park and the referee is Willie Collum.

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