There’s a fair chance Darren O’Dea and Scott McDonald will go to war during Dundee’s clash with Motherwell at Fir Park.
Once the final whistle has sounded, though, they’ll be back as best mates.
So much so, they’ll be heading out for a meal with their wives.
Dark Blues centre-half O’Dea and Steelmen striker McDonald became firm friends during their time together at Celtic and remain in regular touch.
But that status will be suspended for 90 minutes today as the pair become the best of enemies.
That won’t be a problem to either and O’Dea’s revealed, even as team-mates, the pair of them had their fair share of barneys.
“Scott is one of my best pals. We are booked to go out for a meal tonight, ourselves and our wives, so, hopefully, it is still on come the final whistle.
“It won’t be a problem during the game because he knows me as well as I know him and there will certainly be no friendship on the pitch.
“With him it’s business first and when I was with him at Celtic we fought most of the time in training.
“Afterwards, we were mates and that’s how it’ll be this time.”
And the Irishman knows how important stopping his Aussie buddy will be.
If he can nullify the threat posed by McDonald, there’s every chance Dundee will leave Lanarkshire will points in the bag.
“Scott’s a very, very good player and he’s a winner. If we can keep him quiet we’ll have a good chance.”
O’Dea is likely to get help on that score when he teams up with new signing Kevin Gomis for the first time.
Having had a week to work together, he believes the Frenchman can be a hit at Dens.
“He’s looked very good. He came in at the end of last week and you could see from his stature he has everything you would want in a centre-half.
“He’s quick, strong and he’s comfortable on the ball and we’re quite hopeful it won’t take him any time to settle into the team.
“He’s certainly settled in to training straight away.
“Hopefully, if he plays, it will take him no time to get up to speed. He looks like a good addition for us.”
While he’s got too much experience to make rash predictions, it’s clear O’Dea believes Gomis can hit the ground running.
“Sometimes you just click, sometimes it takes time. Only time will tell. The most important thing for me is he improves competition for places.
“We were a little bit light in that area, so it’s another body.
“It’s a very important part of the team and it’s up to the players to perform and stay in the team.”
Whether Gomis is an instant hit or not, his new central defensive partner is convinced he’ll be performing to a high standard soon.
“His experience will help but, in all honesty, playing with good players is easy.
“When you are playing with bad players is when it’s difficult. We have a squad of good players, so that should help him.
“I settled in quickly and I think that was down to the players and the manager making me feel welcome from day one — and I’m sure it will be the same for Kevin.”
The big issue for O’Dea today is bringing back three points. Dundee lie sixth with four points from the first three fixtures but he believes it could be better.
“We are very self-critical here because we set high standards but we’ve not got into our rhythm yet.
“Ross County was a good result, Rangers could have been better in the first half and against Hamilton it wasn’t good enough. We want to improve, and will.”