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Dundee United boss Neilson hopeful for three points tonight and place in Betfred last 16

Robbie Neilson.
Robbie Neilson.

Dundee United boss Robbie Neilson is targeting three points to take his side into the knockout stages of the Betfred Cup when East Fife visit Tannadice tonight.

A win in their final Group A clash would leave the Tangerines on the 10-point mark.

While victories over Stenhousemuir and the Fifers in their final two ties would see Hearts leapfrog them at the top of the table, the 10 points United will have if they win this one will be enough to see them into the last 16 as one of the best group runners-up.

Robbie Neilson.

And, after a hectic start to their group, with three games in eight days, Robbie believes his men will be fresh for this one thanks to their win over Cowdenbeath last time out being on Friday.

“It’s a home game, we’ve had a wee bit of recovery time since the last one and, if get three points, we should be into the next round which would be great for us,” he said.

Although he’s confident his men can get the job done, having already faced East Fife in a pre-season friendly at the end of last month, he is expecting a decent challenge from them.

“East Fife will be fitter and stronger and we are aware of that, so we know we have to be ready for them.”

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With the Championship kick-off against Inverness Caley Thistle now less than two weeks away, Robbie is likely to make changes to ensure his players have plenty game-time.

That could see Benjamin Siegrist return in goal and the likes of Jamie Robson and Ian Harkes given starts.

Dundee United goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist could return for the Betfred tie.

“I quite like the Betfred. It can be difficult to manage just with the game time for players but it gives you that competitive edge before you go into the first league games,” added Robbie.

Those members of his squad he feels are still in need of match action are likely to start the weekend friendly down at Shrewsbury Town.

There’s a chance a couple of players who’ve started all the Betfred action could be excused duty down south.

Still missing tonight will be injured pair Osman Sow and Peter Pawlett. While both have been making good progress, it’s looking increasingly likely they won’t be involved for that league curtain raiser on Saturday week.

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