Jackie McNamara has made a solid start to life as Dundee United boss, losing just one of his first six matches in charge and as that defeat came at Parkhead, the Terrors manager can be pretty satisfied with his first month at Tannadice.
Today sees McNamara introduced to United’s local rivalry with Dundee and he looks set to enjoy his first taste of derby action at Dens Park, where his team are 10/11 favourites at William Hill to make it three wins out of three against their neighbours this term.
The Dark Blues, priced by Paddy Power at 3/1, are well adrift at the foot of the table so they might be grateful for the distraction of a cup-tie and indeed the last-gasp leveller against St Johnstone in midweek could nudge one or two punters towards a draw, at 5/2 with Stan James.
Nevertheless, Wednesday’s point is far from a sign that John Brown’s struggling troops have turned a corner and as they haven’t beaten SPL opposition since mid-November, the rejuvenated Arabs should prove too strong for the hosts.
The season’s other two collisions have both ended 3-0 in favour of Dundee United and it should prove to be another comfortable afternoon for McNamara’s men, who are 14/1 (Coral) to again notch three times without reply.
The worry over Johnny Russell’s fitness however, potentially lessens the chances of such an emphatic success so punters might be better served in the handicaps, where Stan James quote the visitors at 13/5 when kicking off a goal in arrears.
Alternatively, Skybet post 4/1 against an away win by exactly two goals, Ladbrokes quote odds of 8/1 for United to post a 2-0 victory and it’s a safe-looking 85/40 at Stan James for the Arabs to be in front at the end of each half.
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether in-form striker Johnny Russell will overcome the knock sustained at Inverness in time to start but if he does, he’ll be the man to back at 4/1 (bet365) to break the deadlock.