Dundee United fans may have the fear as all-conquering Rangers prepare to come to Tannadice.
However, it didn’t always feel so daunting for the Tangerines, who have enjoyed some memorable home victories over the Light Blues. For the statisticians among us, there are 30 wins from which to choose.
Ian Roache picked out five successes to savour ahead of Sunday’s clash.
United 3 Rangers 0.
Scottish Premier Division. Saturday, December 9, 1978.
If anyone was still unsure whether or not United were a club on the up under brilliant boss Jim McLean then those doubts were blown away by this result against the reigning Scottish champions.
The home team lined up: Hamish McAlpine, Ray Stewart, Derek Stark, George Fleming, Paul Hegarty, Dave Narey, Davie Dodds, Paul Sturrock, John Holt, Graeme Payne, Billy Kirkwood.
The Tangerines had started the day sitting proudly at the top of the league and had cemented that place by full-time at Tannadice.
Striker Davie Dodds got things going early – three minutes to be precise –when the then 19-year-old beat Rangers defender Sandy Jardine in the jump to head his team ahead.
After midfielder Bobby Russell hit he bar for the Light Blues, United midfielder George Fleming sent Paul Sturrock away on the left and the same player was in the ideal position to sidefoot Luggy’s resulting cross into the net with 21 minutes on the clock.
United were in command and made sure of a wonderful victory on 84 minutes when Dave Narey scored from the penalty spot after sub Derek Addison had been fouled by Tom Forsyth. This was proof that McLean’s side were now a force to be reckoned with.
United 3 Rangers 1.
Scottish Premier Division. Saturday, April 2, 1983.
This has been selected as the most important home win over Rangers of them all.
You only have to look at the date to see why. McLean’s men were just seven weeks away from winning the league title at Dens Park.
At the start of play, they sat two points behind leaders Aberdeen and one worse off than Celtic. They didn’t know it at the time but any dropped points here would have been disastrous.
United lined up: McAlpine, Stark, Maurice Malpas, Richard Gough, Hegarty, Narey, Eamonn Bannon, Ralph Milne, Holt, Sturrock, Dodds.
As he often did, Milne got the ball rolling with the opening goal on 33 minutes. Bannon sent over a prefect cross from the right and Milne side-footed the ball into the net past Rangers goalie Peter McCloy.
Home nerves were jangling on 66 minutes when Ibrox striker Sandy Clark poked a shot past McAlpine and in off the far post to level the game.
The hosts needed a hero and for the millionth time it was Sturrock.
Firstly, he shot home on 77 minutes from around eight yards after the ball fell at his feet, then, in the final minute, the frontman made sure of victory from close-range when he converted an acrobatic cutback from Derek Stark.
The final whistle went and they had taken an important step towards destiny.
United 1 Rangers 0.
Scottish Cup, quarter-final replay. Wednesday, March 24, 2010.
This was the night many United fans thought their name was on the cup for only the second time in the club’s history….and they would be proved right.
The Tangerines, of course, went on to lift the famous trophy at the end of the season thanks to a thrilling 3-0 win over Ross County at Hampden. Many would pick out the moment the ball hit off David Robertson in this game as the key one of the whole campaign.
The teams had drawn 3-3 at Ibrox in the first match and credit goes to manager Peter Houston for picking Robertson ahead of the more attack-minded Danny Swanson for the replay.
The hosts lined up: Dusan Pernis, Sean Dillon, Garry Kenneth, Darren Dods, Mihael Kovacevic, Craig Conway, Morgaro Gomis, David Robertson, Prince Buaben, Jon Daly, David Goodwillie.
The Tangerines should have had a first-half penalty when a netbound Jon Daly header struck the arm of Rangers striker Kyle Lafferty but referee Dougie McDonald gave a corner instead.
As the match neared its end, United had the ball in the net after David Goodwillie converted a Daly assist then the Irishman came close himself with a header only for visitors’ keeper Allan McGregor to pull off a brilliant stop.
As play raged on after that save, the ball was delivered back into the box and Robertson challenged the goalie. The ball spun off the United man and trundled forward into the empty net. It wasn’t bonnie but it was dramatic, coming as it did in the final minute of regulation time. The rest, as they say, is history.
United 2 Rangers 1.
Scottish Premiership. Saturday, March 17, 2012.
United welcomed Rangers just over a month after the Glasgow side had officially gone into administration.
They fancied their chances and felt able to leave Stuart Armstrong, Barry Douglas, Ryan Dow and Swanson on the bench.
The starting line-up was: Dusan Pernis, Keith Watson, Dillon, Paul Dixon, Gavin Gunning, Gary Mackay-Steven, John Rankin, Scott Robertson, Willo Flood, Daly and Johnny Russell.
A certain Robbie Neilson (remember him?) was suspended and boss Houston replaced him with Watson. It would turn out to be another managerial master-stroke.
The Tangerines opened the scoring against the run of play on 37 minutes when the aforementioned Watson fired a half-volley past Rangers keeper Allan McGregor. A throw-in from Paul Dixon had been met by the head of Daly and the ball only cleared as far as the United full-back at the edge of the box.
The hosts were on the front foot now and Daly made it 2-0 just a couple of minutes after the break when he shot home after a fine bit of footwork from Gary Mackay-Steven created enough space for the winger to send a cross over from the left.
Ibrox sub Sone Aluko made it 2-1 on 59 minutes when his cross-shot struck United midfielder John Rankin and looped over the head of keeper Pernis. Thankfully for the home team, it didn’t matter in the end as they saw the game out. It wasn’t a dazzling display from United but remains significant as it was their last league win over the Light Blues at Tannadice.
United 3 Rangers 0.
Scottish Cup fifth round, Saturday February 2, 2013.
This occasion was not just notable for the emphatic scoreline but also because it was manager Jackie McNamara’s first game in charge of United.
The McNamara era would get off to a remarkable start when, with only 16 seconds on the stopwatch, Johnny Russell opened the scoring. Daly did brilliantly to head on a long ball from Gavin Gunning and the now Sporting Kansas City frontman blasted his shot almost through Neil Alexander, currently working as the Tangerines’ goalkeeping coach.
With 37 minutes gone Daly made it 2-0 when the Irishman headed home a powerful header. This was to be the Russell-Daly show and the former pounced on another assist from the latter in the 80th minute, the Scotland international giving Alexander no chance with his strike.
United lined up: Radoslaw Ciersniak, Gunning, Dillon, Douglas, Watson, Mackay-Steven, Rankin, Flood, Armstrong, Daly, Russell.
This results stands as the last Tannadice victory of any kind over Rangers.