Ibrox-bound Scott Wright started for Aberdeen against St Johnstone but neither he nor anyone else at McDiarmid Park could supply the inspiration in a goalless draw.
Wright retained his place two days after completing a pre-contract deal with Rangers and he was involved in some decent attacking moves from the visitors.
St Johnstone goalkeeper Zander Clark made a couple of good saves while debutant Glenn Middleton came close to a stoppage-time winner for the home side.
Betfred Cup finalists St Johnstone stretched their unbeaten run to six games while Aberdeen will take positives after dominating possession and territory for much of the game.
Saints made two changes to the team that beat Hibernian 3-0 at Hampden on Saturday with Michael O’Halloran and former Dons midfielder Craig Bryson freshening up the side.
Aberdeen suffered an early blow when defender Tommie Hoban went off with a head knock. Midfielder Dean Campbell came on and Ross McCrorie dropped into the back three.
The visitors created the first chance after the 20-minute mark when Matty Kennedy’s cross found Sam Cosgrove eight yards out. The striker’s header was straight at Clark.
Wright, Kennedy and Ryan Hedges were starting to get on the ball in the final third but clear chances remained at a premium.
Saints had a decent opportunity late in the half when Craig Conway’s cross found O’Halloran but the forward flashed a header just wide.
Cosgrove had a sight of goal inside the box early in the second half but he was closed down quickly and his unconvincing shot was blocked.
Kennedy produced a better curling effort from further out but it was well tipped over by Clark as it threatened to loop under the bar.
Saints came back into the game although they needed Liam Gordon to take a booking for a cynical challenge on Wright to stop a dangerous Dons break.
Home boss Callum Davidson brought on Rangers loan signing Middleton for a debut with 10 minutes remaining and two other substitutes combined soon after. Stevie May chested the ball into the path of David Wotherspoon but the midfielder sliced his volley wide.
Lewis Ferguson had a headed chance at the other end but it was difficult to generate the power needed to beat Clark, who held his effort.
Middleton got a chance to make his mark when he unleashed a powerful strike from 22 yards but Joe Lewis got down well to push the shot away.
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