Micky Mellon plans to finally unleash his new strike pairing of Lawrence Shankland and Marc McNulty for the first time in Saturday’s New Firm derby.
McNulty has yet to feature since clinching a deadline day loan move to Tannadice from Reading.
But having spent the week topping up his fitness levels, the former Livingston and Hibernian forward could now make his Tangerines debut when Aberdeen visit Tayside this weekend.
Shankland has also reported back in top condition despite sitting out the final leg of Scotland’s triple-header against the Czech Republic on Wednesday night.
And Mellon cannot wait to see how two strikers who have both earned international caps over the last 18 months now partner up for United.
Mellon said: “Marc was some way behind in fitness when he came in so we had to try to build that up because there is a risk if you fling them straight in without that intense leg work they can get injured.
“He wasn’t ready to come into the cup games but he has worked hard this week and will have a rest day today.
“But we’re expecting him to be involved against Aberdeen, we think he could probably come into that game and perform for us.
“And of course it’s a really tantalising prospect of having him up there with Lawrence. Having two international footballers at a club like Dundee United is fantastic.”
United also swooped late in the transfer window to sign Cameroon international Jeando Fuchs from Spanish side Alaves.
The 23-year-old midfielder has been forced to self-isolate upon his arrival into the UK but while his quarantine stint ends on Friday, Mellon admits that is likely to come too late for him to face Derek McInnes’ Dons.
“Jeando finishes his quarantine on Friday so we’re just waiting for the final confirmation,” Mellon said.
“However, he hasn’t done anything for two weeks other than a bit of bike work in the house.
“So we will have to gauge where his levels are at once we get him in. However, before the two weeks of quarantine he was fully fit and playing games so we hope we can introduce him a bit quicker than we’ve managed with Marc.
“We’re still waiting for some definite news on whether he can be available for Saturday but even then the fact the guy hasn’t kicked a ball for a fortnight means we’d have to look at it carefully.
“However, he is another exciting one we’re looking forward to joining the group.”