Nip and tuck today

Hearts travel to Pittodrie without captain Marius Zaliukas amid the continuing impasse over his contract negotiations. David Obua has joined the injury list after suffering a groin strain while training with Uganda and Ian Black is doubtful after breaking two bones in his hand. Stephen Elliott returns from a hamstring injury but Andrew Driver (thigh) and Lee Wallace (knee) remain on the sidelines. One point separates the two sides with Hearts having the advantage and Jim Jefferies acknowledges both clubs have had very similar starts to the season. He said: "They got off to a flying start but they have been a bit up and down with results, just like ourselves. But they are always difficult to play up there. They played terrific against Rangers, just like we did, but they lost a two-goal lead. On their day they have shown they can beat anyone. Mark has brought in a lot of new players but, like us, he has had a lot of injuries to key players.''

Scotland under 21 goal hero Chris Maguire is back from suspension for the Dons but Andrius Velicka (ankle), Paul Hartley (hamstring), Sone Aluko (Achilles), Fraser Fyvie (knee) and Peter Pawlett (toe) remain on the sidelines. Manager Mark McGhee said all his injured players are making progress but will not be taking any risks. he also knows the importance of picking up three points at home. He said: "If we win we will go above them which is important and also trying to stay in touch until we do get all our players back is important. I see it as a long season, my priority is to be getting these guys back eventually and making sure they are fully fit.''