Hamilton Accies’ stunning early-season form may have evaporated, but Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes remains wary of Alex Neil’s side ahead of Saturday’s meeting at Pittodrie.
The New Douglas Park side have won only once in six matches since their 3-0 success against the Dons in October.
Saturday’s match will be the third meeting between the clubs in the space of eight weeks with Adam Rooney’s header giving Aberdeen a 1-0 victory in the League Cup quarter-final in their previous meeting.
Familiarity could breed contempt, but McInnes is confident his players will be primed for another tough encounter against the Scottish Premiership’s surprise package.
The Aberdeen manager said: “We can’t take anybody lightly. We give every team the respect they are due regardless of their recent form.
“Hamilton are a team capable of beating anybody on their day. We won last time with a very strong performance and we had to be really competitive and aggressive.
“We will have to do the same to beat them again.
“Hamilton have started the season well so we anticipate nothing other than a tough match.
“We know the importance of bringing a good performance to the game. We are looking forward to getting back to league business and hopefully winning ways.”
Midfielder Barry Robson is the only player from Aberdeen’s lengthy injury list in contention for a return against the Accies with the game coming too soon for Nicky Low, Clark Robertson, Russell Anderson, Willo Flood and Craig Storie.
McInnes reckons his players are desperate to put the disappointment of last weekend’s Scottish Cup defeat against Dundee behind them by taking maximum points against the Accies.
He added: “The fact of the matter is the performance was good but, ultimately, the result was disappointing and in cup competitions the result is everything.
“Although we were disappointed, there is no point dwelling on it.
“This weekend is another challenge for us and we have to make sure the levels of concentration are there throughout the game.
“And it is important that when we dominate games we make the most of it.
“There was a lot to like about our performance against Dundee on Saturday and hopefully we can have another strong performance, but this time with a different outcome.”