Dons boss Derek McInnes says they need to limit the supply to Lawrence Shankland to increase their chance of winning today’s New Firm derby.
Aberdeen head to Tannadice this afternoon to face the Tangerines on league business for the first time since March 2016.
United have returned to the Premiership this season with former Reds striker Shankland as their main threat.
The 25-year-old was with Aberdeen from 2013 until 2017, but failed to score in 17 appearances.
Shankland joined Ayr United after leaving Pittodrie and two prolific seasons at Somerset Park led to a switch to Dundee United.
The player, who earlier this week became a father for the first time, helped fire the Arabs to the Championship title last season and has netted twice this term during an injury-hit start to the campaign.
McInnes said: “Lawrence’s progression over the past couple of seasons has been fantastic.
“He just became a father to a young daughter (on Thursday). I’m still in contact with him and I know his family well.
“It is a big moment for them this week with Lawrence becoming a dad.
“I think with the maturity he has shown over the last few seasons has been excellent.
“He is a fantastic finisher and that is the reason we took him from Queen’s Park.
“We saw the potential in him. Dundee United have a very good player there.
“We have to try to limit that service into him and keep his influence to a minimum.”
Today’s clash with United is the first of three Premiership fixtures for Aberdeen before the Scottish Cup semi-final with Celtic on November 1.
McInnes is keen to build up momentum following the international break and hopes to start that process on Tayside.
United were defeated by Peterhead last weekend in the League Cup, but McInnes won’t be taking them lightly.
He added: “Now we just concentrate on Aberdeen business as we have three very important league games ahead of the semi-final.
“We want to try to maximise that as best we can.
“The first one is Dundee United, which will need our full concentration.
“These three league games are very important to us going into that semi-final.
“We have seen that in the past with League Cup games that they can throw up surprising results.
“Dundee United have been very steady on their way back after being promoted. They have had some good results and others they will be disappointed with.
“They have shown enough they can do well and compete in the Premiership, so we have to be wary of that.
“I know Micky (Mellon) has made a couple of signings to try to bolster the squad, but I think it will be a tough game for us and we look forward to the challenge.”
Lewis Ferguson is available for the Dons, having returned early from the Scotland Under-21 squad for treatment on a thigh niggle.