Dundee United defender-cum-midfielder Calum Butcher believes “Premiership” Dundee are the favourites ahead of Friday night’s Tannadice Dundee derby.
United welcome their city rivals across the street, sitting top of the table and with a 100% winning record after three games.
The Dee, too, are unbeaten with a win and two draws to their name, so far, but sit four points behind the Tangerines.
That gap could stretch to seven with a Terrors win in front of the live television cameras and under the Friday night lights.
However, following relegation from the top flight last season, Butcher insists the Dark Blues go into the match as the favourites.
“It’s a derby. The gap counts for nothing now and there can be no complacency from us,” he said.
“Dundee are still a Premiership side that came down last season. They’re going to be very competitive and the derby could change the whole perspective of the league.
“We’ve got to be up for it and on it like we have in the last three games now, concentrate like we have and work our socks off.
“We need to be on it every week, not just one or two weeks and that’s why it’s vital on Friday we turn up and approach the game properly.
“We are underdogs at the end of the day because Dundee are a big side.
“Any derby around the world is exactly the same, they mean that little bit more.
“Dundee have brought in some really good players in the window and it’s going to be tight all season.
“No matter where we are now, that doesn’t mean it’s where we’re going to finish.”
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The Englishman has been a winner and a loser in Dundee derbies in his first spell at Tannadice from 2013-15.
He started as United ran out 6-2 winners in the Premiership on New Year’s Day 2015 before losing 3-1 at Dens Park in the May that year.
He believes that experience will stand him in good stead and help others through the game.
Though, the 28-year-old believes it’s their togetherness which will see United through to any success they have on the night.
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Butcher added: “Experience does help you but, ultimately, it’s a derby.
“I’ve had some good results, I’ve had some bad results in derbies, if we approach the game like we do every game and are on it from the first whistle, we’ll look after ourselves.
“This group of lads are very humble and keep their feet on the ground. There’s no complacency and everyone wants to work hard for each other.
“There’s a really good group togetherness here. The manager’s brought some good lads in and there’s no egos.
“We’ll work hard and achieve together.
“The pre-season helped us get together as a team by having games and playing the way the manager wants to play, it was vital.
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“The group that was brought in in January had to gel quickly so it was nice in pre-season to get fitness and all that sort of stuff has helped us take that into the league.
With some 10,000 Arabs set to pack into a sold-out Tannadice on Friday, Butcher thinks that will only add to the occasion.
He added: “There was 2,500 at Dunfermline and it was fantastic to bring through that number.
“They follow us and always turn up in good numbers.
“It’s going to be a sell out on Friday night, underneath the lights, so everyone is buzzing for that.
“We just need to focus on ourselves and make sure we’re up for the occasion.”