Sunday’s clash between Dundee and Dundee United will focus intense scrutiny on both managers.
Club bosses are under pressure at the best of times, but never more so than when facing their greatest rivals.
Neil McCann and Ray McKinnon are both still in the early stages of building their teams, but the demand from the stands for victory in this match will still be unrelenting on both men.
The Dens side have made some good signings and are favourites as the Premiership team. Meantime, United seem to have added major talent to their ranks and Ray McKinnon is now starting to assemble a side with more substance than last season.
The Dark blues with three wins on the bounce in the Betfred cup, appear to have found a fan favourite in Sofien Moussa, who bagged a hat-trick against Cowdenbeath in midweek, and who seems to have the tools to cause defences sleepless nights.
United, also with three cup wins, have staged a coup with the signing of experienced striker Scott McDonald, who could prove to be a big influence, not just with his goal threat, but also his drive and professionalism around the club.
The match will provide both clubs with much needed finance; something sorely missed whenever one of the clubs is missing from the top flight, and it will also give some key pointers to their prospects this season.
Both clubs are investing heavily in their squads. For Dundee, a top six finish this season is a must, and their ambition has to be to re-establish themselves as a major force in Scottish football, and also as top dogs in town.
United must win promotion and are aiming to win the Championship to restore them to what should be their natural home: the Premiership. The squad they are assembling looks to be a shrewd mix of youth and experience, mixing flair and fight in equal measure.
A packed Dens park will prove that the appetite to see the two city clubs prosper remains as keen as it ever was.
The early season promise of good times to come can disappear very quickly in football, so a poor result in this game will heap pressure on the losing manager, but the season ahead looks bright for both clubs from my vantage point.
Neil McCann is articulate and focused and may be the catalyst to bring some long term stability to Dens Park which has been missing for many years. Meantime, Ray McKinnon has the opportunity to re launch United as a serious force and to build his own reputation as an astute manager.
The nature of a two-team city means that no club remains dominant forever. United have had a long run where they have been the big sound in town, but in recent times and particularly with the game at Dens which sealed their relegation, Dundee have quietened their noisy neighbours.
This Dundee derby will see a return to the kind of raucous rivalry which makes it such a unique and special contest: friendly yet fierce, neighbourly yet nippy. Bring it on.