Dundee v Motherwell: match preview

Dundee welcome Motherwell to the Kilmac Stadium at Dens Park knowing that another defeat would leave them bottom with no points going into the international break.

An unthinkable thought for Neil McCann and anyone of a Dark Blue persuasion. However, the visitors, in the shape of Motherwell, come in on a high after their late comeback at home to Steven Gerrard’s Rangers last week.

While Stephen Robinson’s Motherwell come in on a positive note having racked up their first point of the league campaign, Dundee come in off the back of an altogether less positive result last week. Tony Watt’s fifth goal of the season for St Johnstone was all that was necessary to send Dundee home pointless from McDiarmid Park.

Neil McCann has added some new players since then with the two Millers, Calvin and Kenny, signing for the Dees. Calvin Miller has joined from Celtic on loan for the rest of the season, while the experienced Kenny Miller has joined on a two-year deal. Miller recently left Livingston after only two months in charge as player-manager.

Dundee have also lost promising 21-year-old striker Craig Wighton to Hearts for an undisclosed fee. It remains to be seen how the loss of Wighton and the gain of Miller will affect the goal-scoring fortunes of this misfiring Dundee side.

One would have to expect the massive experience of 38-year-old ex-Rangers, Celtic and Scotland striker Miller will benefit his new team. However, with only three league goals last season for Rangers, there will be questions over the potency of the veteran hit-man.

Motherwell’s Stephen Robinson refused to underestimate Dundee when speaking ahead of the game, “I think they’re a good side.” he said.

“I went to see them against St Johnstone and they’ve got a lot of very good technical players who can dominate large parts of the game. So we’re well prepared and it’s not something we’ll take lightly.

“We’ve only played three games and we’re talking about teams at the bottom and teams struggling, but nobody is struggling at this stage, this is people finding form and getting into a little bit of a rhythm as we are as well and I’m sure Dundee will go on and put a run together but hopefully that doesn’t start against us.”

The stats

When you look at the statistics, it paints a picture that will give confidence to Motherwell. For example, the Steelmen have not conceded in their last three visits to Dens. Indeed, they left as the victors in all three of those matches.

For Dundee, the poor start to the season means inevitably poor stats. A prime example being that Dundee have been drawing at half-time and losing at full-time in their last four league matches. This underlines the issue that the Dark Blues are finding it very difficult to score and keep a clean sheet as matches wear on.

One positive for Dundee is that despite their consecutive losses in the league so far this season, they have only gone down by one goal. Indeed, against last season’s runners-up Aberdeen, it took a goal from the penalty spot to beat the Dundee defence.

The key for Dundee is what is happening, or perhaps not happening, in the final third of the pitch.

For Neil McCann, it is now doubly important that his strikers find their shooting boots, and we may find out against Motherwell if Kenny Miller can prove the catalyst to kick-start Dundee’s season.

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