So after a rather disappointing performance and result against Hamilton last Friday, we make the trip to North Lanarkshire to take on Motherwell at Fir Park.
It’s safe to say that both clubs start to the season has been a tad indifferent. They started the season well with an opening day win at Kilmarnock but then suffered deserved defeats to St Johnstone and Rangers. If truth be told, the Steelmen haven’t impressed me yet.
They do have players that can hurt us though. Lionel Ainsworth will cause any team problems as will Marvin Johnson. Then you add in Scott McDonald up front who given half a chance, will hit the back of the net.
What I do think will harm Motherwell this season is the loss of influential Midfielder Stephen Pearson. Whenever I saw Motherwell last season, he was in thick of all the action and even managed an impressive nine goals from twenty-five appearances. I can’t pass any judgement on the players McGee has brought in but on paper I would say that they will find it hard to fill the void left by Pearson.
While I think this team are weaker than last season, there is no doubt in my mind that they will still provide a tough test for us.
We welcome back Paul McGowan and Michael Duffy who was recently called up to the Northern Ireland squad for their up-and-coming World Cup qualifiers. Having McGowan and Duffy back in our squad is a massive boost for us.
At times during Friday’s game the void left by McGowan’s presence in the middle of park as well as Duffy’s attacking nature was notable. I’ve saw some indifferent comments about Duffy after games but we missed him dearly as we failed to create many, if any, clear cut chances from open play.
One thing we certainly missed was Paul McGowan. Whenever we need a player to grab a scrappy game by the cuff of the neck and to get players telt, McGowan is your man. Unfortunately he was in the stands nursing a thigh injury and illness but to have him back will be a massive boost for the whole team.
Will we see new defender Kevin Gomis make his league debut? He is certainly being touted to do so and as long as his fitness is up to the level Hartley wants, I’d be partnering him up with O’Dea at the back.
Our recent form against Motherwell has been pretty solid since we made it back into the Premiership for the 2014/15 season. In that period, we have W4 D1 L1. Our only lose came at Fir Park in our last game there.
I fancy us to sneak this one. We have a habit of making games hard for ourselves and I can’t see this game being any different.
Prediction: 2-1 Dundee
LAST GAME AT FIR PARK
Dundee were looking for a 5th straight win over Motherwell but instead the hosts ran out 3-1 winners to give Mark McGhee his first home win in charge since taking over as manager for the second time.
Scott McDonald put the ‘Well into an early on and they doubled that just after the half hour mark when Louis Moult headed them into a comfortable lead.
Dundee would introduce Gary Harkins into the fold and he pulled a goal back, converting home from a Kane Hemmings cross.
The game opened up for both sides as Motherwell looked to kill the game while Dundee hoped to salvage a point. Dundee did have a few chances but they couldn’t put the ball into the net. It would be the Steelman who secured the points in injury time when Stephen Pearson scored from close range.
Recent Record vs Motherwell
Dundee’s last 5 games at Fir Park: LWWDL
Dundee’s last 5 games vs Motherwell: DLWWW
Head To Head League Record
Total Games: 194
Dundee wins: 88
Motherwell Wins: 66
Dundee Goals: 327
Head to Head at Fir Park
Total League Games: 98
Dundee wins: 34
Motherwell Wins: 21
Dundee Goals: 148
Motherwell Goals: 169
This will be the 99th League meeting between both clubs at Fir Park.
Gordon Wallace is the all-time Dundee goalscorer against Motherwell. He has scored 8 League goals and 1 League Cup goal for a grand total of 9 in all competitions.
The first ever meeting between the two sides took place on the 5th December 1903 at Dens Park and it also produced Dundee’s biggest ever win against them. The match ended 7-1.
Dundee’s most wins in a row at Fir Park took place between 10th April 1999 to 26th December 2000 when they defeated the Steelmen five times on the trot.
It’s safe to say that this game had it all. Goals galore, sending offs for each side and Motherwell finishing the game with nine men.
Motherwell came to Dens with hopes of a win to bolster their European hunt and they got off to a flyer when Don Goodman put them ahead in the 13th minute. Dundee did have a chance to equalise but James Grady would squander a magnificent chance after going round the keeper but he took too long to take the shot and the opportunity was go.
The first half would end 1-0 to Motherwell but the second half would be a tad more exciting.
Grady would make amends for his earlier miss when he levelled the score seven minutes after the restart and Jamie McGowan would be ordered off a minute later when he fouled Grady and was judged to have been the last man.
The resulting free kick put Dundee ahead. Lee Madison floated the ball in and Lee Wilkie headed the ball off the bar with Grady in the right place to put away the rebound. In the space of three minutes Dundee had come from a goal down to go into the lead and Motherwell were down to 10 men! The drama wasn’t finished there though and it would be that man Grady in the middle of it again.
The striker was pulled down in the box but the referee wasn’t having any of it and after being booked for celebrating with the fans for his first goal, the wee man was sent packing in an action packed ten minutes!
Dundee would go on to sew up this game when Patrizio Billio slotted home a penalty after Paco Luna was brought down in the box and the Spaniard would get on the scoresheet himself when he scored his first goal for Dundee with minutes to spare. In-between these goal, Motherwell’s Stephen McMillan was stretchered off and with the Steelmen already having used all their subs, they would finish this game with nine men,
This victory moved the Dees seven points clear of bottom club Aberdeen and was only our second home win of the season.
Goalscorers: Dundee – Grady (2), Billio, Luna
Motherwell – Goodman