The two teams who are literally a stone’s throw away from each other will ply their trade in the Scottish Championship next year.
Dundee United failed to escape the Championship again last year, falling to a penalty shoot-out defeat to St Mirren in the Premiership play-off. Rivals Dundee finished 12th in what was a miserable campaign for them, suffering relegation from the top flight.
They’ll play each other at least four times next year in a defining campaign for both sides.
A massive season for football in Dundee
The Dee taking on James McPake as their new manager is a gamble. With no managerial experience, he’ll need to hit the ground running to ease any fears he may have about the role.
Both clubs will be under the guidance of young managers with fresh ideas. Robbie Neilson will look to drive the Arabs up the table once more, with the added incentive of toppling their dark blue neighbours.
Dundee’s big two will need to outperform each other to escape the second tier. Automatic promotion will be the aim for both, but of course, only one can make it. United’s play-off struggles show that they aren’t a guaranteed route to the top flight.
They will have the biggest budgets in the league. Championship football in Scotland is so unpredictable though that budgets don’t come into play nearly half as much as they should. Just look at Alloa’s survival or Partick Thistle’s scrap at the bottom during 2018/19.
Both sets of supporters are tired and weary after another season of disappointment. Starting on the wrong foot would be devastating for either team, as some fans will turn on the team very quickly after last season’s woes.
With a financial backing from their respective American owners, both the Dee and United should be near the top. McPake will need a complete overhaul of his squad whereas Neilson still needs five or six players across the park to make a title challenge effective.
There will be winners and losers come the end of next campaign in Dundee as it’s unlikely both will go up. Failure to achieve promotion could define the futures of these two historic clubs.