Houston relishing Dons clash
Dundee United manager Peter Houston believes Aberdeen are the perfect opponents for his side as they bid to get back to winning ways.
The Tannadice club will hope to climb clear of second-bottom spot in the table when Craig Brown's Dons team arrive on Tayside.
United have had to bide their time since their 4-0 defeat in Inverness three weeks ago with their match away to Motherwell postponed before the international break because of a power failure.
United have not scored in four SPL games and Houston believes the extra spice caused by their old rivalry with Aberdeen should spur his players on.
He said: "There's normally no lack of atmosphere when these two clubs get together.
"So for that reason, it's probably the best game we could have hoped for, the way things have worked out.
"There's a healthy rivalry between us which I hope can bring out the best in my own players.
"We should get a decent crowd inside Tannadice so there will be no extra motivation required.
"I've watched Aberdeen and they have changed their system this season to include a lot of creative players now.
"They have the likes of Jonny Hayes and Niall McGinn, while Gavin Rae, Mark Reynolds and Russell Anderson have all got plenty SPL experience between them.
"They are a threat so we'll need to play well to beat them.
"They have proved they've got character by coming back at Motherwell not that long ago when they were 3-1 down so this will be nothing other than a very difficult match for us."
Houston has every faith in his players despite their failure to claim three points since beating Dundee in August.
He has called on his men to adopt a back-to-basics approach as they seek to arrest their recent decline.
Houston said: "First and foremost we need to do the right things, like defending properly.
"That's how any team starts to get going again and we're no different.
"To be fair, the lads are really keen to get back into action as there was a lot of frustration when the Motherwell game went off through nobody's fault.
"That's just one of those things that happens in football but we can't wait for the Aberdeen game.
"We know ourselves that the teams who have scored against us have scored three and four which is not good enough from our point of view.
"We will be working on getting a clean sheet this weekend and hopefully take it from there."
United are still without injured winger Gary Mackay-Steven and former Rangers defender Gregory Vignal is not ready for his debut.
Houston said: "Gregory Vignal is coming on. He played in a reserve game the other day and is getting a lot closer fitness-wise.
"He will probably play another game next week then we'll take it from there."