Dundee winger Declan McDaid has watched close pal Lawrence Shankland star for Dundee United this season, but is backing Kane Hemmings to outshine his former team-mate in tonight’s derby clash at Dens Park.
McDaid knows how prolific Shankland can be having starred alongside him last season at Ayr when he netted 34 goals for the Somerset Park club before clinching a money-spinning move to Tannadice in the summer.
Shankland, who already has 17 goals this season, helped United to a stunning 6-2 win over Dundee in August but McDaid is tipping Dundee’s own hitman Hemmings to grab the glory this time.
“We’ve not spoken this week,” said McDaid about his friendship with Shankland. “I’ll leave it until after the game and hopefully I’m winding him up after we’ve beaten them.
“I thought in the summer he would move down to England but he went to United and he’s kept up what he did at Ayr. He’s kicked on and now he’s in the Scotland squad. I’m delighted for him.
“The defenders here might ask me things now and again about him but we all know what he can do. There are no shocks.”
Hemmings, below, has also hit some form, with three goals in his last two games for Dundee, and McDaid hopes it’s his team-mate making the headlines after tonight’s televised Championship clash.
“Kano has started banging them in again and hopefully he’ll keep that going on Friday. They’re similar players. They’re both strong and hold the ball up well. And they can both finish.
“They definitely both like the big occasion and will want to be the match-winner in the derby. Hopefully it’s Kano who comes out on top.”
Dundee are aiming to make amends for that Tannadice thrashing in August and, after a run of three straight Championship victories, McDaid is relishing the challenge.
He added: “We’re feeling confident. We were playing well without getting the results and now we’re doing both. I definitely think we have a good chance.
“You up your game when you’re on the TV but you don’t need the cameras to do that for a derby. The bigger games help me play better.”