The battle for top-six hots up
Inverness are on the road again as they visit Dens Park to take on top six rivals Dundee, who are unbeaten at home in their last six games.
This looks to be a tough test for Inverness with Dundee boosted by recent form, their last game at Dens Park a 5-0 thrashing of Championship side Dumbarton in the Scottish Cup.
Paul Hartley has built a tidy team over the last couple of years. Gary Harkins undoubted technical ability in the creative department has seen the Dark Blues consolidate and build over the last two seasons, and in Kane Hemmings they have a striker who knows his way to the back of the net, his 15 goals so far a testament to that. Former Peterhead and Falkirk forward Rory Loy is another who will provide a threat along with the talented Greg Stewart, and both are capable providers.
Dundee sit just two points above Inverness in the league, and that is enough for them to hog sixth place. They have scored 39 goals compared to Inverness' 33, but the Highlanders hold the upper hand in defence, five goals better than the Tayside club. There's not a lot between the sides, but home advantage could be the crucial factor here.
Inverness gained plenty of plaudits for their tremendous approach and performance at Parkhead, but plaudits don't win matches and Celtic ran out flattering 3-0 winners. That result undid a bit of the good work completed against Aberdeen in our previous league game, but our encouraging forward play will give confidence to the side. The only thing missing against Celtic was a couple of goals our endeavour merited.
The sides have yet to be split this season, two 1-1 draws so far and who would bet against another one. In August, they drew in Dundee, David Raven an unlikely scorer before a late Kane Hemmings goal levelled it and Andrea Mutombo saw red for hacking down Nick Ross (how dare you). In the return fixture in the Highlands, Raven was involved again, this time being sent off after fifty minutes and Rory Loy converting the resultant penalty. However, it was a tale of two penalties and Greg Tansey equalised from the spot.
It's well documented that Danny Williams and James Vincent could be on their way to Dundee after the season closes. I doubt we would miss either player much given Vincent's injury riddled time here, although his most important contribution yet came in last seasons Scottish Cup final. Danny Williams has been a bit part player, although often effective when he has played and is a firm favourite with the fans.
Dundee will be without Jake McPake who is out for the season. Daryll Meggatt is on the recovery trail and Nicky Low is back in training, but won't make this one.
Inverness' season long injured crew are, well, still injured. Most recent injuries are Josh Meekings, Alex Fisher, James Vincent and David Raven who was not risked in the last couple of games. Lewis Horner deputised well in those games while most fans were somewhat wary of his inclusion, but like Tremarco on the other side, he has won over more followers with his displays.
tm4tj Prediction:- With two draws already, and Dundee not the happiest of hunting grounds for us, it would be prudent to put your money on another draw here. Our play last week was worthy of a better outcome and would probably have seen off most other teams in the league, but putting the ball in the net has been a season long problem that needs addressed. Young striker Miles Storey has played well recently but the goals have dried up. He really needs a boost to his confidence right now and a goal or two would not go amiss. Kane Hemmings has 15 goals already this season and we need to keep him quiet. The midfield is where this game will be won or lost, and we are as strong as we have been all season. We could be just the team to end Dundee's good home form, but I will settle for a point. Third 1-1 draw coming up.