Mid-table Dundee could take themselves up into the top half of the Premiership when they take on a Motherwell side beaten in their last two games.
Mark McGhee’s Steelmen had hoisted themselves out of the relegation place-off spot that they’d occupied for some time with a fantastic five game unbeaten run that saw them pick up 11 points.
However, they have suffered a heavy 6-0 mauling at Hearts and a narrow 2-1 defeat at home to Ross County in their recent fixtures and both McGhee’s team and Paul Hartley’s Dark Blues need to add some consistency to their results.
Dundee were victorious against local rivals United and away to Partick Thistle before being brought back down to earth with a bump as they went down narrowly 1-0 at second-placed Aberdeen.
Dundee impressed in their attacking options during that game but had looked a little shaky defensively so Hartley will be working on the side’s options in shoring up the back line during training and he’ll have to contend without the injured Darren O’Dea – but goalkeeper Scott Bain was impressive with a number of top drawer saves. They have a Scottish Cup fourth round clash with Falkirk this mid-week as well and he’ll hope that the match doesn’t add to the growing injury list at Dens Park. Hartley has added Spanish striker Arturo to his side on-loan from Cordoba until the end of the season and the 26-year-old could be set to make his debut in the game.
With the Spaniard looking to impress, it could give the ‘Well defenders a headache to deal with somewhat of an unknown quantity.
The Steelmen got off to a slow start against County but had their goal under siege late on and will consider themselves a little unfortunate not to have taken a point as they look to get back on track. That defeat was their first at Fir Park in two and a half months.
With Motherwell just a point ahead of struggling Kilmarnock in the table they can’t afford to take their foot off the gas as they aren’t clear of relegation worries yet and McGhee will be keen to guard against complacency. They have terminated Jake Taylor’s loan contract from Reading and Theo Robinson has left to sign for English League One side Port Vale.
From a betting perspective, you’d have to fancy Dundee to take the points in this one despite the players they have missing with the home advantage just giving them the edge. ‘Well have only drawn once on the road this season, with six defeats and three victories while the hosts have won four, drawn three and lost three at home.
If Hartley can get the likes of McPake, Etxabeguren and Meggatt off the treatment table and back on the pitch, he can sort out his side’s current defensive frailties and make them a harder side to beat.
Dundee Recent Form LWLWWL
Motherwell Recent Form WWWDLL
12/12/2015 Motherwell 3 Dundee 1
03/10/2015 Dundee 2 Motherwell 1
21/02/2015 Motherwell 0 Dundee 1
10/01/2015 Dundee 4 Motherwell 1
18/10/2014 Motherwell 1 Dundee 3
Dundee (4-3-3) – Bain, McGinn, Gadzhalov, Konrad, K Holt, Kerr, McGowan, Low, Hemmings, Loy, Harkins.
Motherwell (4-4-2) – Ripley, Kennedy, Hall, McManus, Hammell, Cadden, Lasley, Pearson, Johnson, McDonald, Moult.
Dundee: McPake (inj), Etxabeguren (inj), Meggatt (inj), O’Dea (inj), Irvine (inj).
Motherwell: Law (inj).