Match Preview - Dundee vs Morton (15th April)
Dundee vs Morton – Match Preview
by Dean McKinnon
Morton travel to Dundee tomorrow in another massive fixture in the hunt for a playoff slot. An impressive second-half performance against Hamilton in midweek saw Dougie Imrie’s men grab a much needed three points. As Partick and Ayr clash, and with Inverness travelling to relegation-battling Cove, a positive result for The Ton would be a vital step towards fourth place.
Photo - GBR Photographs.
Cammy Blues may be in contention to regain his starting slot in midfield after missing both the Ayr and Hamilton matches due to a concussion sustained against Inverness. It’s worth noting that the two previously mentioned matches are the only two occasions this season that Blues has not started in the league.
Lewis McGrattan and Alex King will be eyeing a place in the starting line up after both young graduates made game changing contributions from the bench in midweek. McGrattan’s directness and exquisite pass were met by an excellent run and finish from King to score an outstanding team goal.
Calvin Miller is the only Morton player to have ever turned out for Dundee, although striker Robbie Muirhead did spend a season in Tayside with Dundee United. Miller spent the first half of the 2018/19 season in the Premiership with Dundee before joining Ayr United in the Championship for the remainder of the campaign.
Thirty-five year old Paul McGowan is currently on loan at League One champions-in-waiting Dunfermline from Dundee. McGowan arrived at Cappielow as a fresh-faced teenager in the summer of 2006. The Celtic youth graduate would enjoy a successful loan season on the Tail o’ the Bank, scoring 11 goals in 36 appearances as Jim McInally finally brought the Second Division title to Greenock. Despite reported six-figure sums being offered to Celtic by then chairman Douglas Rae, terms could not be agreed between the parties and McGowan returned to Celtic ahead of the 2007/08 season.
Midfielder Luke McCowan is an Inverclyde native, who had an unsuccessful trial with his hometown club ahead of the 2017/18 season before signing for Ayr United.
Tale of the Tape
Both defences have prevailed in the three previous meetings between the sides this season, which is somewhat unsurprising given Dundee and Morton have the two best defensive records in the league.
Dundee travelled to Cappielow Park supported by Dalrada Technology on Matchday 4. Despite having more of the ball, The Ton struggled to find the breakthrough in a stuffy game. Paul McMullan struck the crossbar in the first half for the visitors, the closest Dundee came to testing Brian Schwake. The Ton thought they had snuck it in the closing stages as a Robbie Muirhead header rattled the post.
Both sides played out another stalemate on Matchday 12, this time at Dens Park. Despite Dundee carving out the better chances, The Ton held firm to deny the hosts, who were reduced to ten men in the 79th minute after two bookings for Josh Mulligan in quick succession. The result left both sides midtable on 18 points.
Jack Baird scored the only goal as The Ton bested the Dark Blues on Matchday 24 in front of the BBC Scotland cameras. In the second phase of a corner, full back Carlo Pignatiello floated a teasing ball back into the six yard box, to which centre back Baird duly obliged, looping his header past Adam Legzdins. Dougie Imrie’s side defended stoutly to claim a victory that kept The Ton in fourth spot.
Photo - GBR Photographs.
The Dee appear to be finding form at exactly the right time as the Championship season enters the home straight. Gary Bowyer’s men have only lost three times since January in a run of form that has propelled them to top spot as they seek to return to Scotland’s top table. Striker Zach Robinson, on loan from AFC Wimbledon, and former Morton winger Paul McMullan, have been hugely influential, with Robinson finding the net on eleven occasions and McMullan providing eleven assists this term.
Ahead of the match, I spoke to Dundee fan Nicola Ironside (@nicola_ironside) spoke of the hosts’ expectations heading into the match – “Well it’s safe to say coming into this game on Saturday we are sitting where we thought we would be at the start of the season however with that comes the great expectations of continuing our winning form which won’t be easy considering we haven’t won against Morton this season.
Having said that every game that we have played 2 up top this season we have won and presuming there is no injuries you’d expect Bowyer to go with the same team that beat Raith midweek. The partnership between Zach Robinson and Alex Jakubiak has certainly been a happy welcome for us Dundee fans.
Give Morton their dues - they have been consistently hard to beat this season and this weekends fixture will certainly be no walk in the park. With the fact we should bring in a large and excited crowd for this fixture combined with getting 3 points putting us closer to winning the league I am expecting a 2-0 Dundee win. However I don’t expect it to be a pretty game of football and I expect Morton to give us a hard game.”
Photo - GBR Photographs.
All match odds are provided by McBookie. Odds are correct as of 9am on 13th April 2023 and are subject to change. Please only bet within your means and visit BeGambleAware if you are struggling.
Title-chasing Dundee are the bookie’s favourites for this clash, chalked at 4/7 to retain all three points. The draw prices at 14/5, with the visitors 17/4 to claim a second victory against the Taysiders this season.
If you fancy Calum Waters to be the first player in the referee’s notebook, you can back this at 3/1. You can also back skipper Grant Gillespie to be the first player cautioned at 13/2.
Referee – Chris Graham
AR1 – Daniel McFarlane
AR2 – Brian Christie
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