Assessment: Dundee’s chances in vital post-split fixtures

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Dundee hope to have something to celebrate again in post-split fixtures.

Dundee boss Neil McCann will be putting his players through their paces this week in preparation for the crunch post-split fixtures that start on Saturday with the visit of St Johnstone to Dens.

The Dark Blues still have plenty of work to do before their Premiership safety is finally assured this season.

They currently sit third bottom – on the same points as Hamilton – four ahead of Ross County in 11th and five in front of Partick in last place.

Here, we assess the prospects for McCann’s men in the five games of the regular season remaining.

 

Dundee v St Johnstone (April 21)

The last time these sides met on March 10 at the same venue, it was a day to forget for the Dark Blues.

They were thumped 4-0 with a touchline bust-up at the end between the two dug-outs resulting in Saints keeper Zander Clark and McCann facing SFA misconduct charges.

The goalie accepted his two-game ban but the Dens boss appealed his suspension and he will find out his fate today at Hampden.

However, there is too much at stake for Dundee to be side-tracked by any thoughts of Saturday’s game being a grudge match and instead they simply need to fully focus on taking all three points.

The Dark Blues’ record at Dens this season is not the best with just four wins in the league, the last coming against Partick Thistle on December 16.

Prior to the 4-0 game with St Johnstone though, Dundee won the previous two matches between the sides.

Saints Premiership safety is already assured and they will be without a whole host of players because of injury and suspension – Chris Kane, Denny Johnstone, Blair Alston, Stefan Scougall, David McMillan, Callum Hendry and Murray Davidson – so the Dark Blues should capitalise and get their post-split campaign off to a winning start.

 

Motherwell v Dundee (April 28)

Dundee have lost three and drawn once against the Steelmen in league and cup this season and it would be fair to say McCann’s men have struggled to cope with the challenges presented by Stephen Robinson’s team.

Like Saints though, Motherwell only have Premiership pride left to play for in this campaign and following their stunning Scottish Cup semi-final win over Aberdeen at the weekend, most of their focus will be on their date with Celtic at Hampden in the final on May 19.

Dundee’s draw with the Steelmen came at Fir Park in December and taking a point at the same venue would be a great result again.

 

Dundee v Hamilton Accies (May 5)

Dundee have picked up three points from their three games with Hamilton so far this season.

They lost 3-1 the last time the teams met at Dens in October against an Accies outfit reduced to 10 men for the last 15 minutes of the game.

So it goes without saying that McCann will be looking for a vast improvement this time at home.

Martin Canning’s men have made a habit of defying the doom-mongers who regularly predict they will be relegated every season and they will be a difficult proposition again – a draw would be an acceptable result from a Dundee perspective.

 

Ross County v Dundee (May 8)

Dundee have secured just three points from their three games against the Staggies this season, losing the last encounter between the sides 4-1 at Dens in February.

The Dark Blues will certainly be hoping their safety is assured by the time they face the tricky trip north to the Highlands for this Tuesday night game.

However, if Dundee still need a result, then they can take heart from the fact they won convincingly when they beat County the last time they played them in Dingwall at the start of December.

 

Dundee v Partick (May 12)

The Dark Blues have a good record against the Jags this season with six points secured from a possible nine on offer.

The last time the sides met at Dens, McCann’s men were well worth their 3-0 win and hopefully they can achieve something similar again to finish what has been a difficult season with a flourish.

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