Partick V Aberdeen at Firhill Stadium : Match Preview

By
20 May 2017

Cerny and Osman doubtful before date with Dons

Partick Thistle have doubts over goalkeeper Tomas Cerny (arm) and captain Abdul Osman (knock) ahead of the visit of Aberdeen.

Mustapha Dumbuya could return from a knee strain but fellow full-back Callum Booth is suspended.

Long-term casualties Stuart Bannigan, Gary Fraser (both knee), Jason Banton (groin), Ryan Scully (shoulder) and Sean Welsh (foot) remain out.

Manager Alan Archibald has told his players to take the fear out of their game and enjoy their first top-six experience.

Thistle took a point against Hearts in their first match since the split before suffering narrow defeats to Rangers and St Johnstone, but were then thrashed 5-0 at home by champions Celtic.

Archibald admitted he was learning himself about how to set his team up against the top sides, but he wants his players to improve when they close their season against Aberdeen.

Archibald told Jagzone: "When good teams smell fear they exploit it, and they (Celtic) did in every department.

"There looked a real fear in the first 25 minutes. Some of our lads looked terrified.

"I said that to the lads, you want to get to the top six so you can play with a pressure and a carefree attitude in a good way. We didn't do that, we looked really terrified and that was the big disappointment.

"I'm learning about the players now. We've not been in this position before as a staff and as a squad, so I'm learning as well.

"I'm learning in terms of the personnel we pick against Celtic again. You see that sometimes you have got to go with work and energy because they are miles ahead in a lot of departments.

"You have got to make sure you compete and win individual battles and make it ugly at times, you maybe can't go with the flair. But we are learning all the time about the players and the players are learning as well.

"We've got here and we've got to go and perform at times, and we have not done that."

Ryan Jack and Peter Pawlett could feature for Aberdeen.

The pair have recovered from injuries and the medical staff will assess them on Saturday after they returned to training.

Jonny Hayes is available after missing the midweek win over Rangers through suspension but Jayden Stockley is banned following his red card at Ibrox.

Derek McInnes will pick his team with next weekend's William Hill Scottish Cup final in mind.

Ryan Christie, who has netted five goals. is expected to make his final appearance on loan from Celtic.

The 22-year-old is hoping to bow out on a high, telling the club's official website: "My time here has been brilliant.

"I have enjoyed playing under the manager and it is a great changing room to be part of as well.

"Part of the reason for the loan was to get game time. I wanted to increase that and I am pleased with the minutes I have had on the park.

"I am happy with the goals as well because I think it was something that I could have added to my game. To see that coming out in games is pleasing.

"For me personally I want to finish the season on a high.

"What will happen in the future I do not know. I have just been thinking short term, just concentrating on the games coming up.

"We will get Sunday out of the way, then have a holiday and then see how pre-season goes with Celtic. I am still positive that I can break into the team.

"Training with the quality of players Celtic have will only improve my game but the quality at Aberdeen has also helped improve my game.

"I have said before you do most of your learning playing games at the weekend so I am delighted I have managed to do that."






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