Betfred Cup draw throws old and new foes into pot

Kosta Gadzhalov scores back in May last year during the last city derby at Dens, which saw the Tangerines drop out of the Premiership after losing 2-1 to near-neighbours Dundee.
Kosta Gadzhalov scores back in May last year during the last city derby at Dens, which saw the Tangerines drop out of the Premiership after losing 2-1 to near-neighbours Dundee.

It feels like the new season is already here after the Betfred Cup group draw.

And, of course, with a Dundee derby to get the blood pumping right from the start of the season there will be plenty to talk about in Group C.

Add to that, Dark Blues legend Barry Smith taking on his old side as boss of Raith Rovers, Gary Locke’s Blue Brazil and the relative unknown of Highland League side Buckie Thistle.

It promises a storyline for each fixture for the Dundee sides — but what should they be expecting?

The derby

It’s a game neutrals were wanting — and no doubt a game BT Sport would have been desperate for — but it’s one that piles on the pressure for both managers.

For Ray McKinnon and Neil McCann it will be their first taste of a City of Discovery derby as managers, although both have, of course, played in them.

It will also be a sharp test for the two city squads with both sets of fans hoping there will be plenty of new faces on show.

Last meeting: Dundee 2 Dundee Utd 1

Dark Blues fans of course remember this one as the “Doon Derby”, while Arabs would be keen to forget any mention of it.

Dundee are unbeaten in the last four meetings between the sides but, over the years, and decades, have never had a particularly good record in derbies.

United’s record is 81 wins to 54 for Dundee.

Raith Rovers

Both Dundee clubs would no doubt have preferred another pick in the third pot for the group.

Raith had a horrible season firstly under Gary Locke — who they’ll meet again against Cowdenbeath — and then John Hughes which, of course, saw them relegated to League One.

Under new boss Smith, though, they might have the new-manager bounce along with some fresh faces.

Last meetings: Dundee 4 Raith 0

The last clash between the sides was also an early-season League Cup game back in August 2014 with goals from Greg Stewart, Paul McGinn, Paul MacDonald and Martin Boyle.

Raith 2 Dundee Utd 1

A poor afternoon for the Tangerines gave Rovers hope of escaping the drop in March as United lost their third game in a row that month. Craig Barr and Ryan Hardie had Raith two up before Simon Murray pulled one back in the last 10 minutes.

Cowdenbeath

A club that’s had a whole world of hurt over the past few seasons, the Blue Brazil will hope the last campaign was the lowest they’ll drop as they only just escaped a third relegation on the bounce.

Gary Locke is sticking around at Central Park and both Dundee and United will be massive favourites to grab three points.

Last meetings: Dundee 4 Cowdenbeath 0

A 16-year-old Craig Wighton opened the scoring at Dens Park in April 2014 as the Dark Blues took three Championship points. Also on target were Martin Boyle with a double and Jim McAlister.

Dundee Utd 6 Cowdenbeath 1

The two sides met at this stage last season and the Tangerines romped to victory at Tannadice with a Murray hat-trick added to by Lewis Toshney, Cammy Smith and Henri Anier. United do enjoy playing the Blue Brazil with an aggregate of 27-5 for their last six meetings going back to 1971.

Buckie Thistle

Neither city side has met the current Highland League champions but Dundee do have unwanted history against similar outfits — non-league Fraserburgh shocked a Dundee side that finished fourth in the top flight, and had two players playing in the World Cup the year before, in the Scottish Cup first round in 1959, winning 1-0.

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