Paul Hartley at pitchside for a Dundee friendly
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Potential is there for Dundee to outrun the odds again

| 24.07.2015

Paul Hartley has been a busy man this window at Dens Park. The Dundee boss has brought in no fewer than nine players as the club look to consolidate the top-six finish they achieved in 2014-15.

A crack at the top half of the table will undoubtedly be the aim again, but it will be far more difficult this time round.

Firstly, last season the likes of Hamilton, Kilmarnock and Motherwell really struggled at times, allowing the Dark Blues to gain a break on the chasing pack.

And while they have been busy in the transfer market, questions will need to be answered on the pitch.

With eight-goal striker David Clarkson departing for a return to the Well, Dundee have just one striker in Greg Stewart that managed more than two goals last season.

They have brought in the likes of Rory Loy from Falkirk and Kane Hemmings from English League One side Barnsley into their ranks over the summer.

The former has done well in pre-season, netting the winner against Wigan in their penultimate preparation match.

The latter and fellow new arrival Julen Etxabeguren also showed they know where the net is when helping their new side to a victory against Raith Rovers.

While the goalscoring talent is clearly there, those players need to go out and show they can cope with the added quality of the Ladbrokes Premiership.

Their teammates who were at the club last term will also need to start this campaign better than they finished the last, losing six of their final seven matches.

That being said, while it will be a tougher ask for them to finish in the top six in 2015-16, they are a very tempting price to do so at 5/2 with Ladbrokes.

The Dees finished one, five and 13 points clear of the aforementioned Kilmarnock and Motherwell at the end of the first 33 games last season, and while they will undoubtedly be better this time round, there is nothing to say Dundee cannot improve too.

A potentially tricky start with Hearts, St Johnstone, Aberdeen and the small matter of Dundee United in their first five weeks will say an awful lot about their prospects.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.