First thing to say – it’s brilliant to have the derbies back in the city.
There will be a buzz that only this fixture can bring.
And when we do get to see the first one in the top flight for a few years, we’ll have a much clearer picture of how Dundee are adjusting to life in the Premiership.
Dundee’s squad is almost complete, you would think, but United have probably got a couple more they’ll bring in.
If they make two quality signings who are established players to add to Charlie Mulgrew and Trevor Carson, the balance between youth an experience could be just right.
If they don’t, there’s a chance that too much will be expected of the youngsters United are hoping to bring through this season and for the foreseeable future.
I don’t see either of the clubs going down but the reason I think Dundee might have city bragging rights when the season finishes is that for a change there has been stability at Dens.
The manager has grown into the job and been honest enough to say he’s made – and, more importantly, learned from – mistakes.
Rather than overhauling a squad, James McPake has wisely chosen to build on one that finished last season strongly.
Dundee’s striking options
I like the look of the few signings he has made.
Cillian Sheridan was a young lad when I was at Celtic Park and he’s gone on to have a very good career.
Finding a home after moving across Europe makes sense and I think Dundee fans will really take to him.
James now has different options up front for different circumstances.
A combination of the easing of Covid restrictions, promotion and sensing that this is a team worthy of the badge has got Dundee fans excited.
A fast start is a strong possibility and will really get the bandwagon rolling.
The lack of transfer speculation surrounding Lawrence Shankland is a bit of a surprise.
This was a guy being talked about as a £2 million player 12 months ago.
He was never going to score anywhere near as many goals in the Premiership as he did in the Championship but considering the service he got, he had a decent first season in the top flight.
Lawrence will have a point to prove after missing out on the Euros with Scotland and if he gets a few goals, that might be enough to make a club down south put their money on the table before the window shuts.
Don’t write him off.
It’s an absolute certainty that Celtic will bring in a new goalkeeper.
Not getting it right last season was one of the fundamental problems at the root of their 10-in-a-row hopes fading away.
Celtic have opened talks with Tottenham to sign Joe Hart as new goalkeeper. Negotiations ongoing between the two clubs. ⚪️🟢 #CelticFC
Aurelio Buta is still the main target as right-back, as reported days ago. Celtic are working to reach an agreement. 🇵🇹
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 28, 2021
Joe Hart has been linked with a move and that seems like a sensible one to me.
Folk have short memories – this is a guy at a good age still (34) with 75 England caps to his name.
Maybe he’s not the best around with a ball at his feet but making saves will always be the number one priority.
The demands up here are a bit different to under Pep Guardiola.
If he’s got the hunger to succeed and prove himself in a new league, it would be a top class bit of business.
And I’d love to be a fly on the wall when he meets up with Leigh Griffiths to talk about those two free-kicks!