Dundee Utd V Celtic at Tannadice Park : Match Preview

14 January 2016
Dundee Utd V Celtic - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Mixu Paatelainen believes Dundee United can cause Celtic upset

Dundee United boss Mixu Paatelainen insists his side will be looking to win when table-topping Celtic visit Tannadice on Friday.

Paatelainen's side are 11 points adrift at the foot of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership, but the Finn wants to see his side take a positive approach.

"The squad are in a good frame on mind, we have trained well and we are raring to go," he told the club's website.

"On our day we know we can cause any team problems and, whilst it will be difficult against the top team in Scotland, we have to look to secure the three points."

Defender Mark Durnan and midfielder Guy Demel are suspended, but Paul Paton has returned to full training.

The Terrors were thumped 5-0 in the reverse fixture at the end of October, but Paatelainen is confident his side are a different proposition now.

"We have made progress from that day at Celtic Park, no question," he added.

"Our overall play has improved so much. Every part of our game has improved. We are so much more dangerous now and create so many opportunities."

Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon and striker Nadir Ciftci return from suspension, while Ronnie Deila's injury concerns are also easing, with defender Dedryck Boyata and midfielder Stuart Armstrong also available after shaking off hamstring and back issues.

Skipper Scott Brown and Ryan Christie are both sidelined by knee problems, but are making progress with their return to fitness, while Charlie Mulgrew (thigh) and Saidy Janko (ankle) remain out.

Celtic defender Efe Ambrose does not expect an easy game despite Dundee United's lowly league position.

Speaking ahead of the Tayside clash, the Nigeria defender said: "I'm surprised to see them where they are. They are a good side and they play good football.

"I don't think they deserve to be where they are. It's unlucky but that's football. In Africa, we would say the god of football is not on their side."

Celtic hope to have skipper Brown fit again within the next month. The midfielder has not played since injuring his knee in November but his return to light training is a welcome sight for Ambrose.

"For me, he's a great, great guy as well as our captain and leader," said the centre-back. "When we have him around, I think he brings extra motivation to the team. He brings something special that I cannot explain."

Dundee United Match Reports

Trending on the boards