Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson is anticipating a tougher match against the ‘true’ Dundee instead of a repeat of his side’s rout of the Dark Blues earlier in the season.
United strolled to a 6-2 victory in the first derby of the campaign at Tannadice back in August (see video below).
However, now well into the second round of Championship fixtures, Robbie is expecting James McPake’s men to provide a far sterner test for his league leaders with the Dee playing host this time round at Dens on Friday.
Asked if he expects to see a different Dundee team, Robbie said: “It’s always like that, every team has got to become a team.
“At the start of the season your first round of games are always people getting to know each other with new players coming in, formations, all that kind of stuff.
“You start to see the true teams when you move into your second batch of games.”
Although it is one of the biggest games of both clubs’ seasons, boss Robbie has found it a little easier to temper expectations and hype surrounding the fixture.
He, in part, puts this down to the players having less time to think about the match.
He added: “The game’s on Friday night which makes it a bit easier for us actually because we’ve got one less day of training.
“If it’s a Saturday game, there’s an extra day and extra build-up of momentum for the players and thought process as well.
“We’ve just tried to keep it as a standard week, the boys were training Monday, we had a reserve game on Tuesday and we’ll do our build-up today and tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, Dundee United hitman Lawrence Shankland has earned a recall to the Scotland squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Shankland is in Steve Clarke’s 25-man squad for the campaign-closing games against Cyprus and Kazakhstan after scoring against San Marino (see video below) and making his debut in Russia in the last round of matches.
His inclusion in the Scots’ pool means he will miss United’s match against Queen of the South next weekend, with the national team in Cyprus on the same day before welcoming Kazakhstan to Hampden on the following Tuesday.
With 18 goals in 19 games for the Terrors this season, he will be a big miss. However, United boss Robbie is pleased for the 24-year-old striker.
“I hoped he’d be in it and I expected him to be in it,” he said.
“Obviously, it’s a hindrance for us because we’ll lose him for the Queen of the South game but it’s part and parcel of having a good player.
“I think Lawrence did enough in the last game to get back in the squad again and with us since then. It’s great for him.”