Friday night is massive for both Dundee and United but all the pressure is on the Dark Blues in the third derby of the season.
James McPake and his men have been roundly beaten by their rivals in the two meetings so far this season and trail the Tangerines by an eye-watering 17 points.
Unsurprisingly that’s meant uptake of tickets from Dees in the away end at Tannadice this week has been slow.
However, this is exactly the sort of match that Dundee can reignite the belief that’s been ground out of their supporters over the past couple of years.
Fans at Dens have had to suffer disappointment after disappointment and you can’t blame anybody for avoiding going to see this one on Friday night.
For the players, though, they have to see this game as an opportunity to show their long-suffering support that better times are ahead.
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In 2019, the Dark Blues have lost 20 of their 43 matches, winning just 13 – that’s a 30% win rate – with 10 of those coming in this campaign.
And upsetting the odds at the home of their rivals – ending their nine-game winning run and perfect home record – in the last match of the 2019 sounds like the perfect way to show their supporters why they should continue to turn up in the new year.
What they have to do at least is compete with United.
They’ve failed to do that, smashed 6-2 the last time they crossed the street and then brushed aside on their home patch at Dens in November. Desire is the very minimum their fans will accept.
The good news is the Dark Blues have shown a bit of life in recent weeks.
It might be a surprise to some – it was to me anyway – that during Dundee United’s ridiculous winning run of nine games, Dundee have actually been the second-best team in the division.
Being second-best to United isn’t where Dees want to be, I know, but it should give them a bit of heart that things aren’t as bad at Dens as they’ve seemed.
There are serious players in their ranks as well.
Former Rangers and Scotland midfielder Graham Dorrans’ influence over the team has been building again recently.
Getting Dorrans in the positions where he can find Kane Hemmings and Danny Johnson and there’s a real chance.
At the very least, Dundee need to give their fans a reason to believe 2020 will be a vast improvement on 2019.