Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes hopes his side can end the year on a high with a victory against Livingston today.
The Dons head to Almondvale hoping to bounce back following their 4-3 reverse against leaders Celtic at Pittodrie on Boxing Day.
McInnes’s side could move up to third with a victory over the Lions, who they defeated 3-2 at Pittodrie earlier this month.
The Dons boss said: “It’s important we try to finish the month off in winning ways. December has been really demanding on everyone – staff, supporters and especially the players with the physical output they have to give. We’ve picked up a couple of injuries as a consequence of too many games with Niall McGinn and Max Lowe’s groin problems. The players have acquitted themselves very well, won some important games in December and their focus has been good.
“We know the importance of this match and I’m sure the players will give one last effort before we get a few days off.”
With McGinn and Lowe expected to miss out, McInnes also has an additional selection headache with midfielder Lewis Ferguson suspended but Gary Mackay-Steven could make his comeback following concussion.
Livi were tipped by many to finish bottom of the Premiership but Gary Holt’s men have impressed on their return to the top flight. They are in seventh spot and eight points closer to league leaders Celtic than they are to bottom side Dundee.
Both Rangers and Celtic have failed to win at Almondvale this season, while Hearts were thumped 5-0 in the Lions’ last home game.
McInnes said: “They have surprised a lot of people, having sustained their form and they deserve credit.. To win there will be a big ask but that is the intention. It’s important we’re ready for what’s coming and try to stand up to what they’ve got as a team but also impose ourselves on them.”
Around 3,500 Aberdeen supporters are expected to make the journey to cheer on the Dons.
McInnes added: “It’s fantastic and that’ll make it the kind of game that will help the players. It will feel like a cup tie and they’ll generate that noise and get right behind the team.
“We’re not going to get it all our own way when you go away from home, the game might be a bit untidy at times, you’ve got to make sure you fight your corner but hopefully there’s enough good moments in the game that we can send the fans home happy and make that the last memory of 2018.”
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