Blogs & Opinion


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

Andy Walker - 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:

Latest News RSS feeds

Premier League: 10 questions

We look at the big talking points ahead of a key weekend in the Premier League.

Hart signs new City contract

Joe Hart has signed a new long-term contract which keeps him at Manchester City until the end of the 2018-19 season.

Redknapp: Reds need big win

Liverpool can get back in the top-four race with a win over Arsenal, says Jamie Redknapp.

Van Gaal chasing perfection

Louis van Gaal will continue to demand more from Manchester United despite Sir Alex Ferguson telling him: 'It's results that count'.

Wenger: How I signed Sanchez

Arsene Wenger says it was Arsenal's consistency and style of play that convinced Alexis Sanchez to choose London over Liverpool.

Features

Tyne-Wear Derby: Ex-Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback is now a Newcastle favourite following his summer move

Tyne-Wear Derby: Ex-Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback is now a Newcastle favourite following his summer move

Former Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback has quickly won over the Newcastle fans and could be a key figure in the Tyne-Wear derby, writes Adam Bate...

Premier League questions: Can Brendan Rodgers silence his critics? And will Villa Park be Man Utd's haven again?

Premier League questions: Can Brendan Rodgers silence his critics? And will Villa Park be Man Utd's haven again?

With another huge weekend of Premier League football ahead of us, we ponder 10 questions that will be answered by Monday evening...

Five classics

Five classics

Liverpool v Arsenal is a fixture steeped in history and with the pressure on both bosses ahead of their Super Sunday clash, this weekend’s meeting could be another one to remember.