Simon Murray can help Dundee beat St Johnstone in today’s Tayside derby, says Peaso

Peter MacDonald

The goals haven’t been flowing for either Dundee or St Johnstone this season but one man who knows a thing or two about finding the net is backing the Dark Blues to come out on top today.

Peter “Peaso” MacDonald found the net 56 times for St Johnstone as a fledgling pro before firing in 21 goals in 49 appearances for the Dens men as he helped them win the Championship, and with it promotion, back in 2014.

He’s backing both sides to escape the battle against relegation by the end of the campaign but today fancies Dundee to just edge it at Dens Park.

Peaso said: “It’s a big game for both, especially with St Johnstone’s result on Wednesday, it’s massive actually.

“St Johnstone won’t want to drop below and Dundee absolutely won’t want Saints to get away from them.

“It’s all systems go tomorrow, I reckon it’ll be a close game.

“I’m backing Dundee to nick it 1-0 — they’ve not been consistent this season but they’ve been more consistent than St Johnstone.

“Neither want to get drawn into the play-off spot. I think Ross County are gone at the bottom, so it’s about avoiding the play-off.”

In saying that, however, he expects managers Neil McCann and Tommy Wright to guide their teams out of trouble, whatever the result tomorrow.

“I’m not really worried about either side, to be honest,” he added.

“Both have the squads to stay up and it’s about building up a run of consistency. St Johnstone are stuck in a rut at the moment and need to get out of it.

“Dundee have been brilliant one week then poor the next, they’ve been losing when they should have won and have been unfortunate at times.

“Both have good managers, though, in Tommy Wright and Neil McCann and I’m sure they’ll keep them safe.

“St Johnstone have struggled but Tommy has done an unbelievable job.

“If anyone can turn it around, he can. He’s capable of pulling off a masterplan tomorrow to win which would make things a lot more difficult for Dundee with their fixtures. I think it’s must-win for them.”

Saints go into tomorrow’s contest as the league’s lowest scorers with 25, while the Dark Blues aren’t that far ahead on 30 in their 28 games.

“Dundee have had problems getting goals this season. Marcus Haber is injured and Sofien Moussa hasn’t been firing on all cylinders in front of goal. I think the big man’s link-up play is great but he’s not an out-and-out goalscorer.”

Peaso believes the man who can fire the Dark Blues up the table, however, is their No 17.

“Simon Murray is a natural goalscorer and he’s absolutely Dundee mad, too.

“I met him before Christmas and we had a good chat. He was telling me he was a mad Dundee fan and then all of a sudden he gets his move to Dens. It’s basically a dream come true for him.

“Goals will definitely come if they can create chances for him — I have no doubt he’ll score a barrow load.

“For Saints, I don’t know how much Steven MacLean has been missed lately.

“If he’s fit tomorrow he’ll be a big player for St Johnstone.”

Peaso has his own big game to worry about tomorrow, too, with Stirling Albion taking on League Two leaders Peterhead.

Under another former Dee and Saints legend Dave Mackay, Peaso has been banging in the goals as the Binos have won their last five on the bounce.

“I’ve been doing all right! Six goals in my last four. It’s good, I’m loving it under Dave Mackay.

“We’ve a really big game tomorrow, too, and, if we can beat Peterhead, we can start to claw the points back on them.”