Dundee vs Morton - Match Preview
by Dean McKinnon.
Morton travel to Dens Park tomorrow with a clear mantra - win two of the remaining four games. With the Championship relegation battle on a knife edge, and a change of ownership on the horizon, the stakes have never been higher for the Cappielow side. The Ton will look to recover from the Nikolai Todorov inspired mauling on Tuesday night in the hands of Inverness and attempt to lay a glove on a Dundee side that appear to be peaking at the right time as they attempt to finish the 'best of the rest' in the second tier.
Photo - GBR Photographs.
Paul McMullan joined Morton on loan on 24th February 2016 from Celtic and it’s safe to say he had a dream debut. He registered an assist as Morton demolished Hibs 3-0 at Easter Road. His loan spell was short lived, making eleven appearances between then and the end of the season, scoring once against Queen of the South. After a season long loan spell at East End Park, he joined Dundee United in 2017. In January he signed a pre-contract agreement with rivals Dundee and a fortnight later joined the Dees on loan until the end of the season.
Paul McGowan joined The Ton on loan from Celtic in 2006 as a youngster looking for first team football. He played a crucial part in Morton’s Second Division title win, scoring fourteen goals in forty-four appearances, winning the SFL’s Young Player of the Month award in January 2007 and was third place in the Second Division’s Player of the Year award. He scored the third goal against Kilmarnock in the famous 3-1 Scottish Cup win at Cappielow after a cut back from Jim McAlister. Celtic rejected a fee reported as being ‘near six figures’ from Morton to lure the youngster to Cappielow permanently. After spells at Hamilton and St Mirren, he signed for Dundee in 2014 and has made 236 appearances to date for the Dark Blues.
Dundee manager James McPake had a brief spell at Cappielow as a player. He joined Morton on loan from then First Division Livingston in the 2005/06 campaign. He played ten games for The Ton, scoring once. He debuted in the 2-2 draw with Gretna at Cappielow and scored his sole goal in a 4-1 routing of Alloa. After returning to Livingston, he would later go on to play for Coventry City, Hibs and Dundee.
Declan McDaid is on the books at Dundee. Born in Greenock, McDaid made his Morton debut in April 2013 in a 5-2 win over Airdrie. Despite showing a great amount of promise, the winger did not fit with the lopsided 4-4-2 employed by Allan Moore, who opted to play without a right winger to accommodate a central midfield three of Michael Tidser, Fouad Bachirou and Martin Hardie. McDaid, unhappy at not being offered more game time by then manager Allan Moore, left Cappielow at the end of the 2012/13 season and subsequently signed for Partick Thistle, making twenty six appearances over three seasons.
Photo - GBR Photographs.
Tale of the Tape
Morton entertained Dundee at Cappielow on 27th February, with both teams earning a share of the spoils. A screamer from Craig McGuffie, his second sizzling effort in two weeks, gave The Ton a 1-0 half time lead. Jason Cummings equalised for the away side in the 65th minute before a Luca Colville header regained the lead with twenty minutes to play. Danny Mullen’s 81st minute equaliser ensured that Dundee headed back to the City of Discovery with a point for their endeavours.
Dundee secured their first three Championship points of the season against Morton on the second matchday of this season. Jonathan Afolabi, on loan from Celtic, scored the only goal of the game with a close range volley in the fifth minute. Morton's cause was hindered by Robbie Muirhead, who was sent off after two bookings for dissent in quick succession in the second half.
Photo - GBR Photographs.
Dundee are the league’s second higher scorers with 43 league goals (1.95 per match) from 237 shots attempted (10.77 per match). Much of their attacking proficiency can be owed to midfielder Charlie Adam, who currently boasts six league goals and six assists this season. Attacking Osman Sow’s eight goals this season places him fourth in the Championship goal tally. Former Morton winger Paul McMullan has also registered four assists this season.
Dundee’s obvious weakness this season has been their defence. Despite being second top of the table, The Dees have conceded the third higher number of goals (1.68 per match) and the third highest number of fouls in the league (12.86 per match). Creative talisman Charlie Adam is also second in the cautions table for this season, racking up seven yellow cards so far this term.
I spoke with Dundee fan David Murray, who spoke positively about his side’s chances – “Dundee go into this Morton game in quite a different place from the last time these sides met. The Dees have won 4 of their last 5 league matches and should they win on Saturday, it will be the first time this league season they have have won four games in a row. In the build up to the 2-2 game at Cappielow game, Dundee had only had two clean sheets the whole season, however, they have had 3 in the last 5 games. It’s been vastly improved performances, which has been reflected in the scores. The main difference has been more wide play with the reintroduction of Declan McDaid to the side and having the stability in goal from Legzdins. Confidence is building in the side and they seem to look like they are starting to piece it together as was reflected in the 3rd goal against Ayr on Tuesday (Great build up to a 20 yarder outside of the foot by Gowser (Paul McGowan).
As a whole very poor start to the season but if we continue playing like we are we should be looking good for second, which, if Dundee fans are being honest and realistic is what the club would have been aiming for at the start of the season. Myself and Dundee fans are looking and now expecting this run of form to continue with three points against Morton. In the championship any team can beat any team (far more exciting than Scottish Premiership) on a given day and Dundee can’t afford to be complacent but if your side has aspirations to finish 2nd playing 9th at home should be a game you are winning.”
All match odds are provided by our sponsors – McBookie. All odds correct as of 2pm on 9th April 2021 and are subject to change. Please only bet within your means and visit BeGambleAware if you are struggling.
The home side are marked as heavy favourites for this one, pricing up at 4/7 for the win. Dundee to win and BTTS is 5/2 and Dundee to win to nil prices at 13/8. If you fancy The Dee to record a comfortable victory, you can back them on a -1 handicap at 7/4.
The draw prices at 31/10 with a 0-0 stalemate pricing at 12/1. If you fancy Morton to take all three points you can back this at 4/1. Morton to win and BTTS is 8/1 and The Ton are 7/1 to win to nil. If you fancy Morton to defy the odds are record a comfortable victory, a -1 handicap prices at 12/1.
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