As the Dundee teams meet at Tannadice this afternoon, a victory for United could result in this being the final derby match of the season. Indeed, a win for the Arabs could mean that The City of Discovery will not see a win for Dundee win in SPL derby match this season at all.
Defeats for Hibs and Aberdeen in the last two days mean that United will move into the much coveted sixth place, should they win, with only two games remaining until the split. A United victory would also put another nail in the coffin of their city rivals, who languish alone at the bottom of the division. John Brown will no doubt make all the right, defiant noises about his team not succumbing to relegation until the maths dictate otherwise.
Dundee have goalkeeper Rab Douglas struggling for fitness and he may be replaced by Steve Simonsen – also there was speculation that Brown had dropped Douglas amid an argument. United, however, could be missing quite a few regulars. John Rankin and Willo Flood are suspended while there are injury doubts regarding Jon Daly and Brian McLean.
McNamara’s team go into this match with three victories already behind them against the Dens Park outfit. Two 3-0 wins in the league and a much closer 2-1 victory in the Scottish Cup have been the outcomes thus far. At the very least, this must give them a psychological edge in this crucial match.
Dundee, effectively, are playing for pride. This may allow them to perform better with the pressure being off them. Their support would love it if they could put a heavy dent in United’s top six challenge.
Prediction: Despite missing key players, home advantage and the incentive of going into the top six should ensure that McNamara’s United take all three points.