Blogs & Opinion


Dundee will struggle to win Sunday's derby with United, says Andy Walker

Dundee United - Andy Walker Posted 3rd December 2012 view comments

Unfortunately, the SPL can't offer any Celtic v Rangers games this season so the Highland derby involving Inverness Caley Thistle v Ross County, the Edinburgh derby between Hibs v Hearts and the Dundee derby take on added significance.

Our live SPL clash this week takes us to Tayside where Dundee have the perfect opportunity to show they're not out of their depth in Scotland's top-flight when they host city rivals United in the second derby of the season on Sunday.

Barry Smith: needs more from McBride and Conroy, says Andy

Barry Smith: needs more from McBride and Conroy, says Andy

At Tannadice in August, Peter Houston's men were comfortable 3-0 winners in the first Dundee derby for seven years - it threw up a fabulous atmosphere - and it's fair to say that it's taken Barry Smith and his men some time to cope with the demands of life in the top-flight.

Revenge

Winning just 11 points from 15 games has left Dundee adrift at the foot of the table but nothing would give the home side a bigger boost in their quest for survival than a victory over their greatest rivals.

Having seen United play recently, Dundee will be well aware that their bitter rivals have a questionable attitude in how they've started recent games.

Andy Walker
Quotes of the week

Granted, Dundee had a very short time to prepare for life in the SPL after Rangers were placed in the third Division and the harsh reality is they've had to learn quickly that it can be an unforgiving league.

They'll remember they started at Tannadice really well but couldn't maintain that form and were soundly beaten in the end. It's always a sore one for the fans to take when the margin of victory is so great and revenge will be on the players' minds.

Rab Douglas, Matt Lockwood and Colin Nish provide the type of experience that Barry Smith relies on for big performances but he needs to see more from Kevin McBride and Ryan Conroy.

Difficult

Having seen United play recently, Dundee will be well aware that their bitter rivals have a questionable attitude in how they've started recent games.

Speaking to Peter Houston last week after seeing his men lose two goals in the opening 10 minutes of a 2-1 home defeat to Motherwell, he couldn't understand why his side kept giving the opposition a goal of a start.

In four of their previous five games they had gone behind and had made life so difficult for themselves.

In his words, it had gone "beyond a joke" and they certainly had a better attitude when they beat Stranraer 5-0 away from home in the Scottish Cup last weekend.

Dundee are also through after their away success at Livingston but more importantly, Barry Smith's men kept a clean sheet.

With Jon Daly and Johnny Russell in attack, United have a potent threat and even allowing for their bizarre habit of conceding the first goal, they do have a greater number of options from middle to front.

Gary Mackay-Steven will be missing through injury but John Rankin & Stuart Armstrong have the energy to constantly get up in support of their strikers.

My guess is that United's greater experience of big games will see them come out on top once again.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Alan Smith

Smith wants Welbeck at Arsenal

Danny Welbeck could be the man to replace Arsenal's injured striker Olivier Giroud, says Alan Smith....

Phil Thompson

Thompson: Lampard an icon

Frank Lampard is a football icon and can be proud of a ‘stellar’ England career, says Phil Thompson....

Latest News RSS feeds

Live transfer updates

Everton present Samuel Eto'o, Troy Deeney set to pen new deal at Watford and Angel di Maria signs for Manchester United.

Di Maria blasts Real 'lies'

Manchester United signing Angel di Maria has claimed he never wanted to leave Real Madrid.

Van Gaal not shocked by defeat

Louis van Gaal insists he was not shocked by Manchester United's 4-0 defeat at MK Dons in the Capital One Cup.

Clarke out of Palace running

Steve Clarke has been ruled out as a candidate to take charge of Crystal Palace, who are set to name their new manager.

Arsenal v Besiktas preview

Arsenal and Besiktas meet at Emirates Stadium with their Champions League play-off locked at 0-0 from the first leg.

Features

If the 106-cap career of Frank Lampard is regarded as an England disappointment, then so is everyone's since 1966

If the 106-cap career of Frank Lampard is regarded as an England disappointment, then so is everyone's since 1966

They say there’s no worse feeling than losing in a final. Presumably that’s exacerbated when there’s so much at stake. One look at the forlorn figure of Lionel Messi ascending the steps at the Maracana this summer would certainly suggest as much.

Man Utd confidence 'shot' after 4-0 MK Dons defeat, says David May

Man Utd confidence 'shot' after 4-0 MK Dons defeat, says David May

Louis van Gaal’s first task in the wake of Manchester United’s shock second round Capital One Cup defeat to MK Dons is to rebuild the team’s broken confidence, says former United defender David May.

Where will Angel di Maria fit in at Manchester United?

Where will Angel di Maria fit in at Manchester United?

It was only May that Angel di Maria was receiving the man of the match award in the Champions League final. It was his slaloming run beyond three players that provided the catalyst for Gareth Bale’s crucial goal, putting Real Madrid ahead in extra time and all but securing La Décima.