Dundee’s first home league match of the belated 2020/21 campaign sees Greenock Morton arrive at Dens Park this weekend.
And everyone associated with the Dark Blues will be desperate to see a marked improvement from the team that were swept aside so easily at Tynecastle on opening day.
Smarting after a 6-2 thumping dished out by Hearts, Dens boss James McPake is keen to see his side kick off their home form on the right foot at least.
So what will his side be faced with when Morton come calling?
With a manager who knows exactly what it takes to win games in the Championship after getting Livingston promoted in David Hopkin, Ton won’t be an easy nut to crack.
A Scotland international as a player, Hopkin’s teams tend to do the simple things very well and got great results at Livi through that approach.
Going into his second season, his players will know exactly what’s required and won’t give anyone in the second tier an easy afternoon.
Last week, they kicked off their Championship campaign with a 1-0 home win over Alloa, setting up 4-4-2 and not allowing the Wasps a moment’s peace.
Dundee can expect Ton to be very fit, well-drilled and “in their faces”.
Greenock Telegraph reporter Chris Dodds told the Twa Teams, One Street podcast this week: “It was a really high-intensity game.
“Maybe people expected it to be flatter with no fans there but Morton were really pressing from the get-go, gegenpress I think they call it.
“Really in Alloa’s faces, not letting them pass out from the back. Until Alloa got a man sent off, it was Morton in total control because Alloa just couldn’t get a look-in. Morton missing chances made the scoreline closer than it should have been.”
Team spirit and never-ending work rate are a big part of a Hopkin team and Morton are no different.
Up top they have strong and willing runners in Calvin Orsi and Cameron Salkeld but it’s in midfield where they the strength lies.
Dundee fans are very familiar with skipper Jim McAlister, an experienced campaigner, who is joined in the middle by Kyle Jacobs. There aren’t many in the division better than the South African in the holding role.
For creativity they have former Dundee United man Aiden Nesbitt but will have to replace suspended Josh McPake. The Rangers kid spent time on loan at Dens last season and has been the heartbeat of the Morton attack this term already until his red card late last week.
A lack of a killer touch in front of goal last week kept Alloa in the game while they edged past Queen’s Park in the Betfred Cup the game previous with the same 1-0 scoreline.
They have a strong, organised defence and have added pace in Sean McGinty and Markus Fjortoft but it could be upset by the directness of strikers like Danny Mullen or Jonathan Afolabi.
Breaking the Ton press will be key for the Dark Blues and getting Charlie Adam and Graham Dorrans on the ball as much as possible would hurt their opponents.
Unbeaten so far in their three games, Morton have chalked up two 1-0 home wins and were held by Queen of the South in their opening Betfred Cup game.
Pegged back twice by the Doonhamers, Hopkin’s side then lost the penalty shootout for the bonus point.
However, two 1-0 wins on the bounce will tell Dundee they’ll have to take their chance because they won’t come along too often.
The spoils were shared last season with a win for both and a draw in the latest encounter.
Dundee’s slow start to the campaign was added to by Peter Grant’s winner at Cappielow last September, Ton’s only shot on target that day.
A late Jamie Ness winner saw McPake’s Dark Blues take three points in the next meeting in November.
The last meeting in February saw a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Christophe Berra making his debut after joining Dundee on loan.
The all-time record is 73 Dundee wins, 49 Morton successes and 40 draws since 1896.