Three reasons for United fans to travel to Hamilton with confidence.
United can do this
As someone not prone to wild optimism, I would suggest they should really fancy their chances. They have several things in their favour. Firstly, the Tangerines have already gone away from home twice and won play-off games – against Morton then Falkirk on their plastic pitch. Also, there was no discernible difference between Accies and, say, the Bairns ie they didn’t look out of United’s league. Thirdly, Ray McKinnon’s men weren’t exactly hanging on at any stage and the defence coped well. Finally, the travelling support will be loud, proud and will outnumber the home fans, which can help lift the players.
Tangerines will hold their nerve
Having to battle their way through a quarter-final then a semi might just turn out to be a blessing in disguise. They have learned a lot from those contests against Morton and Falkirk. At Cappielow they kept their cool after going behind and turned that game on its head. The clash with the Bairns proved to them that they can progress without securing a first-leg lead. They again hit back after falling behind. That is all money in the bank when it comes to Sunday and these players won’t panic if things don’t go to plan at any stage. Oh and they won’t have big Wato to shred the nerves or upset his teammates.
Hamilton have their problems
Accies certainly don’t have their selection troubles to seek. Their usual skipper Mikey Devlin suffered knee ligament damage in the final league game against Dundee and was on crutches as he made his way into Tannadice as a spectator on Thursday. His replacement as captain, Massimo Donati, then suffered a groin problem against United. There is also a major doubt over key man Dougie Imrie, who has a rib injury, while the influential Darian MacKinnon is suspended. Although they have produced some notable home wins this season – Aberdeen, St Johnstone and Dundee have all lost there – they are currently on a run of only two victories in nine games. Over the same period, United have gone 11 games unbeaten.