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Aberdeen prepare for first match in almost three weeks

Derek McInnes' men travel to Perth to face St Johnstone in a rescheduled Premiership clash.

Aberdeen prepare for first match in almost three weeks SNS

Aberdeen will take on St Johnstone tonight as they prepare for their first match in almost three weeks.

The north-east side travel to McDiarmid Park in Perth as they look to catch up on a backlog of fixtures.

The clash, originally scheduled for August 8, was postponed after two players tested positive for Covid-19.

Another six were forced to self-isolate because of close contact and subsequent matches against Hamilton and Celtic were also called off.

The eight in question, who had visited a bar in Aberdeen on August 1, were publicly criticised by the First Minister, who said they “blatantly broke the rules” agreed by the Scottish FA, SPFL and government.

The incident brought Scottish FA charges for the players and SPFL action is being taken against the club.

Manager Derek McInnes has since asked for a line to be drawn under the situation, following a public apology from the players and the completion of an internal investigation at Pittodrie.

Craig Bryson, Dylan McGeouch, Jonny Hayes and Matty Kennedy are available for selection, having re-emerged from a period of quarantine, with new signing Ross McCrorie also available.

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson refused to complain even though his side now face a visibly stronger Aberdeen than the one they might have played before the match was originally postponed.

He said this week: “It’s a difficult time and one with a lot of unknowns. Unfortunately Aberdeen were the club where something happened, so (am I irritated)? No not really.

“I don’t see it (as being unfair). I saw it as another game that has just been postponed for Covid reasons. We just have to move on.

“If I sit now and think, ‘Oh they could be playing without eight players’ then I’m not doing my job.”

Previewing the trip to Perth, McInnes said the atmosphere “has clearly been lifted” with the return of some of his players to training.

He added: “I’m quite relaxed at the fact we’re two and three games behind. We can quickly make those games up.

“We have to play the same amount of games anyway and I don’t think you ever really look at the table as a manager until that first round of games, or two rounds of games, anyway.

“But clearly getting your first win of the season is always pivotal for any manager to get that up and running.

“We have an opportunity on Thursday to try and do exactly that.”

The match will kick off at 7.30pm.