If Aberdeen are to finish second in the table for the first time in 20 years they will have to do it without forward Adam Rooney.
The Irishman, who has netted nine times since joining the Dons in January, has been ruled out of the club’s remaining two fixtures because of an ankle injured sustained in Saturday’s 5-2 defeat to Celtic.
Dons manager Derek McInnes now has to decide between Scott Vernon or Calvin Zola as a replacement or give leading-scorer Niall McGinn a more advanced role against Dundee United at Tannadice this evening.
He said: “Adam has led the line well but a couple of the lads have had their chances restricted because of that and now they’ll get their chance.
“I think Calvin and Scott will be desperate to play their part in what are still important games for the club.
“Coming to a club such as Aberdeen is difficult for any player as there are a lot of demands and pressure to perform.
“Calvin has had a couple of little injuries which haven’t helped him, but we still feel he has contributed to how well we have done this season.
“Both players are still important to us and they have done their bit, but we can only pick 11 players to start a game.
“Those who are not picked have got to be ready to come on and make a contribution when they do get the chance.”
The Dons, who last finished second in Scotland’s top flight in 1994, are a point above Motherwell in the chase to finish runners-up behind champions Celtic.
McInnes knows taking all three points against Dundee United this evening would put the Fir Park side under pressure to do the same against Caley Thistle tomorrow evening in order to set up a second-place showdown at Pittodrie on Sunday.
The Aberdeen manager added: “If you had offered us the sort of position we are in now way back at the start of the season we would have definitely taken it.
“Of course the priority was to get the club back into Europe but now we have done that then second is what we are after.
“We are not happy with just finishing third as there are a lot of incentives for getting that runners-up spot.
“The financial aspects for the club matter as well as it’s a decent amount of difference between second and third.
“We have got to be aware of that and for us it’s just trying to do the best we can and if we finish second then it would be an indication of how hard the players have worked this season.”