Dundee boss James McPake will be an interested spectator at Pittodrie tonight as Sunday’s Betfred Cup opponents Aberdeen face Croatian outfit HNK Rijeka.
Derek McInnes’s side will be attempting to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg of their Europa League play-off.
The Dons returned to Scotland after that defeat and played St Mirren on Sunday in Paisley with the Buddies winning the game 1-0 in atrocious, wet conditions.
McPake was in attendance at the match but admits he is hoping to make a clearer assessment on Aberdeen after the game in the Granite City tonight.
He said: “It was a difficult match at St Mirren to watch and judge because of the conditions.
“The pitch was very wet naturally due to the weather we have had but it was a decent game with two teams going for it on a tricky surface.
“But Aberdeen had a few on the bench and Sam Cosgrove wasn’t even there so we will watch them again on Thursday evening.”
One thing McPake is certain of is that McInnes will wheel out all the big guns at Dens on Sunday.
He said: He always does. It is a big competition regardless of what league you are in.
“It is one of the major cups in this country.
“They always seem to have success in that cup and have been unlucky in the Scottish Cup as well in the last couple of seasons so we are expecting nothing less than a full-strength Aberdeen barring injuries.”
There were a few changes over the summer to the Aberdeen squad with the likes of Gary Mackay-Steven and Andrew Shinnie heading for the Pittodrie exit but others such as Craig Bryson, Ryan Hedges and Funso Ojo arriving.
However, McPake insists that while the Dons will pose a potent threat, he has full confidence in his squad and their ability to make it through to the last eight of the Betfred Cup.
McPake said: “If you pick an injury up or you leave people out and have to affect a game from the bench then you need quality throughout your squad.
“Aberdeen certainly have that. I have seen them a couple of times this season and I like them.
“I like the way Del (McInnes) sets his teams up as well.
“It is a tough one for us but we are at home so we need to be positive and not get caught up in the fact they are a league above us.
“It is a good test for us and a cup tie we want to win. We are at home so we need to pick the right team and system for our fans to think we have gone out and had a go.
“We said at the start that we wanted first and foremost to get through the group. A home tie was the next thing and there will be a big crowd so it is one we are looking forward to.
“There should be a great atmosphere and will have that big cup tie feeling about it.”