Dundee United vs DundeeScottish Championship, KO: 07:45 Aug 30, 2019, Tannadice
THE Dundee derby makes a welcome return to the Scottish football calendar on Friday night in what looks set to be a tasty tussle at Tannadice.
The last time these two old foes locked horns on league duty was back in 2016 at Dens Park when a dramatic comeback seen Dundee defeat and relegate the Tangerines to the second tier of Scottish football.
Since tumbling out of the top-flight United have failed to escape the notoriously competitive Scottish Championship in three attempts and have since been joined by neighbours Dundee who endured a calamitous 2018/19 campaign which culminated in relegation from the Scottish Premiership.
Both of these bitter rivals were ranked amongst the ante-post favourites to lift the Championship title, however the Dark Blues have yet to demonstrate the necessary form that will see them bounce back to the big time at the first time of asking.
Yet, Dundee, despite being unconvincing thus far, are undefeated in three league outings having drawn with Dunfermline and Inverness either side of a win against Ayr United.
However, the bookmakers believe that Dundee will do well to take anything back up the road from this battle with an away win an unfancied 3/1 (Bet 365) and even a draw is deemed unlikely at 12/5 (Betway)
Those odds can perhaps be attributed to not only Dundee's mixed start to the season, but also the period of transition that the Dens Park side appear to be going through.
Former Dundee captain and youth coach James McPake has been tasked with taking Dundee back to the top level of Scottish football and in doing so the new Dee boss has been busy rebuilding his squad.
McPake has made some eye-catching additions that include Danny Johnson, Kane Hemmings and highly-rated Rangers kid Josh McPake, but his new-look side have yet to click and hit top gear.
However, the same can't be said for league leaders Dundee United who have hit the ground running and go into this derby as big favourites at Evens (William Hill) to continue their impressive start to the campaign.
The Arabs annihilated Inverness at home on the opening weekend of the season and followed that up with notable away wins against Partick Thistle and Dunfermline.
In doing so Robbie Neilson's men have notched up eight goals in three games – seven of which have been scored by striker Lawrence Shanklnad who has made a scintillating start to life in the City of Discovery.
After netting 34 times for Ayr United last term Shankland looks set to continue to be the scourge of Scottish Championship defences this season.
The Terrors new talisman scored all four United goals in his last outing at Tannadice and is 10/3 (Bet 365) to hit the opener on Friday night, however I would be more tempted to opt for the Evens (Bet 365) on offer for Shankland to strike anytime.
What's more with Shankland on board the Tangerines are averaging over two goals per game at present and I fancy that to continue on Friday night.
The Dark Blues may have registered back-to-back clean-sheets in the Championship, but Dundee looked vulnerable at the back in Fife a few Friday's ago and Shankland and Co won't be so forgiving.
With that in mind the 10/11 (Bet 365) on offer for Dundee United to score over 1.5 goals appeals.
In doing so Dundee United should seal all three points and a fourth successive league victory when coming up against a Dundee team who have only scored one goal in their last two games.
Furthermore, 10 derbies have come and gone since an away win was recorded in this fixture and with the prolific Shankland in irresistible form, the Evens (William Hill) on offer for a home win here is just a little too tempting to pass up on.
This Scottish Championship match between Dundee United and Dundee will be played on Aug 30, 2019 and kick off at 07:45. Check below for our tipsters best Dundee United vs Dundee prediction.