Dundee need to improve woeful record versus bottom six when they play Kilmarnock

Dundee’s Faissal El Bakhtaoui (number 20) celebrates after scoring at Rugby Park during the 1-1 draw against this weekend's visitors Kilmarnock back in September

Dundee head into this weekend bottom of the Premiership table and taking on a Kilmarnock side just three points ahead of them.

Normally, playing teams in and around a side at the wrong end of the table would spell a chance to pick up some much-needed points.

Sadly for the Dark Blues, getting results against the teams near them in the last couple of seasons hasn’t been their forte.

In fact, against the sides who finished in the bottom six last season, Dundee have only picked up 30 points from a possible 81.

And that’s exactly why they’ve found themselves battling a relegation battle last campaign and looking down the barrel once more this time.

Seven wins, nine draws and 11 defeats in 27 games since the start of last season against Ross County, Kilmarnock, Motherwell, Hamilton, relegated Inverness CT and their replacements Hibs have seen the Dark Blues continue to struggle at the wrong end of the division.

They welcome Killie to Dens with just eight points from their 13 league matches and in desperate need of adding to that tally before long.

Their recent record against the Ayrshire side shows the game is likely to be a tight affair with only two games in the last 10 won by more than a goal.

So far this campaign, the Dark Blues have found themselves on the wrong side of those sort of scorelines — something they’ll have to address and quickly.

Being on the losing side again will see Killie open up a six-point gap between the them.

And, although Kilmarnock have only won once at Dens since Dundee’s return to the top flight, their recent away form under new manager Steve Clarke has been impressive.

The former West Brom and Reading boss has shown all the expertise he picked up as assistant to serial winners like Jose Mourinho and Kenny Dalglish in his short time at Rugby Park.

The only blemish on his record is a home defeat to Hibs but, on the road, they’ve picked up results at Celtic, Rangers and Hearts.

Add to that a victory at Partick before he took the managerial reins and Killie have eight points from a possible 12 in the post-Lee McCulloch era.

What has been evident is a real organisation to their game defensively.

At Celtic Park, two banks of four and sometimes every man behind the ball made for a very difficult day for the champions.

Added to that defensive strength, though, was the threat of Jordan Jones.

The winger has this week become an international player, coming on as a sub for Northern Ireland in their play-off second leg in Switzerland.

That ended in disappointment but not without the Killie man impressing against Juventus defender Stephan Liechtsteiner.

Veteran Kris Boyd and youngster Adam Frizzell were also on target in their last match — a 2-1 win away to Hearts — after sharing the goals in a 2-0 victory at Partick.

Chris Burke netted the late equaliser at Rangers, so the attacking threats come from everywhere for Dundee.

On the other side, Dens striker Marcus Haber, fresh from scoring his first of the season at Hibs last weekend, netted a winner against Killie last campaign.

Faissal El Bakhtaoui also likes playing the Ayrshire side having scored twice against them.

The form book may be against the Dark Blues but they have players in their midst who have a track record of hurting Saturday’s opponents.

On recent meetings it’ll be a tight affair — Dundee just have to ensure they are on the right side of it come the final whistle.

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