THE cinch Premiership match against Scottish champions Celtic at Tannadice on Sunday afternoon was an important one for Craig Sibbald and his Dundee United team mates.

It gave them a chance to avenge the record 9-0 defeat they suffered at the hands of the Parkhead club at home back in August and claim a notable scalp in from of the Sky Sports cameras.

Things did not go to plan for Liam Fox’s team against Ange Postecoglou’s side – they were beaten 2-0 after conceding second-half goals to Jota and Aaron Mooy.

Yet, their midfielder knows full well the meeting with Kilmarnock at Rugby Park tomorrow evening is far, far bigger.

United are now level on points with three other clubs at the foot of the Premiership table following their defeat to Celtic – Motherwell, Ross County and Kilmarnock.

A win over their fellow strugglers in Ayrshire will give their hopes of top flight survival a substantial lift – while another loss will see them fall behind their opponents. 

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"Wednesday is huge,” said Sibbald. “We will look at the Celtic game and try to take positives from it, see what we did right and what we did wrong. But ultimately Wednesday is a bigger game.”

The 27-year-old is confident that United can put their weekend reverse behind them at a difficult venue – only Celtic, Rangers, Hearts and St Mirren have lost fewer games at home than Kilmarnock - and increase their chances of staying up.

He has been happy with the form they have showed since club football resumed last month – they have drawn with Hearts and Hibs and beaten County and St Johnstone – and is far from despondent about their prospects.

"We've got better shape since we came back from the World Cup,” he said. “I feel we're more structured.

“We'll look to try and get the ball down a bit more against Kilmarnock. It's obviously hard against Celtic, but hopefully we can put our style of play on the game on Wednesday and get the win.

“It's tight at the bottom. We just need to focus on ourselves, get better each week and take us back up the table

“We have done well against the teams around us in the league this season. We take heart from it and take confidence. We know there's still quite a lot of games to play, so we need to keep the momentum going. We just need to stay confident and keep going.

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“We got a convincing win the last time we played them (United won 4-0 at Tannadice in November) and we'll be looking for that kind of win again. It's not going to be easy, they'll be right at us, so we'll need to get the gameplan right and hopefully get the win.

"It's always going to be a dogfight at Rugby Park. They're right in your face, but we'll be prepared for that and hopefully we can get our foot on the ball and create chances.”