The Championship campaign is six matches in and our writer Ian Roache assesses how the four Courier country clubs are faring.
The Tangerines are where most people expected them to be at this stage.
United sit top of the table with five wins out of six, the solitary loss coming against Ayr at Somerset Park.
Compared to this time last season, they are four points better off.
Their sixth league game in 2018-19 saw them travel to Falkirk and win 2-0 thanks to goals from Pavol Safranko and Craig Curran.
That result moved them third behind leaders Ayr United (13 points) and second-placed Inverness Caley Thistle (12), with eventual champions Ross County in fourth behind the Tannadice men on goal difference.
Looming large on the horizon, though, was the following week’s 5-1 humiliation at home to the Staggies.
The big difference to the team this year is, obviously, 12-goal striker Lawrence Shankland. He has been sensation.
The key to continuing success would be his staying fit and his teammates being able to provide him with passes and crosses, which didn’t happen often enough against Arbroath on Saturday.
Also, a fair few United fans are frustrated at manager Robbie Neilson’s decision to play Shankland on his own on occasion – Saturday was a case in point – rather than pair him in a clear two with Louis Appere.
United got there in the end against the Lichties but it was close to being an embarrassing loss and the scoreline masked a poor display.
There has been a undoubted drop-off in performance level since the win over Dundee but at least, thanks to their earlier exploits, they know the quality is there.
The demolition derby is the obvious high so far, with the six goals scored matching their largest-ever tally against their city rivals.
The prediction is that United will count their blessings that they escaped with a victory against Arbroath and play much better against Morton this Saturday.
They also got what could prove to be a significant break when it emerged that Ayr, who are level with them at the top of the table, have lost manager Ian McCall to Partick Thistle.
They will replace him but it will be hard to find someone of McCall’s intelligence and experience.
Therefore, a team that looked like replacing United at the top for much of Saturday afternoon may have just been seriously wounded.
It is so far so good for United, with the positive displays against Dundee, Dunfermline, Inverness and even Partick outweighing the poor ones against Ayr and Arbroath.
The most worrying thing for Dundee at this stage is that there are no fewer than four teams – Ayr, Inverness, Morton and Arbroath – between them and league leaders United.
It would be like comparing apples and pears to look at how the Dark Blues were doing last season in the Premiership at this stage (they had lost six straight in the league and been knocked out of the Betfred Cup by Ayr).
No Dundee fan would have expected their well-funded team to be sitting in sixth spot in the country’s second tier 12 months on.
They started the season with a worrying first half against Dunfermline, only to show character to fight back for what looked like a decent draw at the time.
A single-goal home win over a currently high-flying Ayr side at Dens stands out, while a draw at Dens against Inverness wasn’t too shabby.
Then came the derby, though, and James McPake’s players do seem to still be recovering from that battering from United.
An unspectacular but welcome 2-1 home win over Alloa looked to have steadied things but they were on the back foot again on Saturday as they lost to Morton at Cappielow.
They are still struggling to defend setplays – a majot problem in the derby – and to have a minus three goal difference after half-a-dozen matches is extremely worrying.
There are some grounds for optimism because of the depth of their squad and the Graham Dorrans signing will surely bring its rewards in the weeks and months ahead.
However, a trip to Dumfries always looks tricky and the Dark Blues head there on Friday night.
My not entirely confident prediction is that they will just edge it at Palmerston and then kick on next month.
The Lichties were very impressive indeed despite losing late on to United on Saturday.
The mantra at Arbroath has been that they deserve to be here and there is absolutely no doubt about that.
They are not just some stuffy side that tries to stop the opposition playing but one that has attacking flair and imagination.
There are two contenders for their league highlight thus far – the 1-0 wins away to Alloa and home to Dunfermline respectively. Elsewhere, they were delighted to knock United out of the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup.
Eight points out of six is an excellent tally and fans will be enjoying being ahead of Dundee in the table, albeit on goal difference.
There are difficult matches coming up against Ayr and the Dens men but no one who watched them at Tannadice will be writing off their chances in those games.
Thank goodness for that 3-0 win at Partick.
It is a relief to look at the table and not see the Pars at the bottom.
It was an absolutely massive victory for Stevie Crawford and his players.
Now they need to build on it after seriously under-achieving this season.
Five points from six fixtures is still a miserable return but they can at now look up at Dundee and think they can catch them.
It all started so well for the Fife club in that first half against the Dark Blues, when they looked like title contenders.
They will still feel they can get back in the play-off mix but they have little wriggle room moving forward.
Next up is a home game against Alloa and the performance in that one will tell the fans if their team is about to turn a corner or not.