Marcus Braddock looks ahead to Saturday's pre-season game at home to Dundee United
This weekend we welcome Dundee United to Montgomery Waters Meadow with the start of the football season just a week away. It may seem a little odd for a team like Dundee to have a friendly game when they've already started the Scottish League cup. However, with a free weekend in the competition, manager Robbie Nelson is using the opportunity to increase squad fitness ahead of the upcoming League campaign.
Things haven't quite gone to plan for Nelson in the group phase of the league cup after a good start. A draw at Heart of Midlothian was followed by wins at Stenhousemuir and at home to Cowdenbeath but last Tuesday saw them beaten 2-0 at home to Scottish League One team East Fife.
The Terrors had a pretty good 18/19 season, improving on the 17/18 seasons position of third with a second place and four more points. In the play-offs, United dispatched Inverness 4-0 over 2 legs but lost on penalties to St Mirren after a 1-1 aggregate score.
During the closed season, Robbie Nelson has added 23-year-old defender old Liam Smith from Dundee, Striker Lawrence Shankland from Ayr and Swansea midfielder Adam King. Ex-Aberdeen defender Mark Reynolds also signed after spending time with United last season. The most interesting of the new arrivals is certainly Shankland who scored 34 goals from 41 appearances last season including four in a 5-0 away game against Dundee United.
After a few days of serious heat, the Met Office is predicting gentle winds and light rain.
With Manager Nelson vowing to stick to his plan to sharpen the fitness of squad players, I'm not really sure what to expect. They're obviously a good team that isn't too far away from the Scottish Premier League so it should have its challenges and will act as a decent final sharpener for next weekend’s big kick-off.