|Reading 1 v 2 Derby County|
Friday, 3rd August 2018 Kick-off 20:00
D.J's Match Preview: Rams Must Secure Playoffs & Confidence
Saturday, 12th Apr 2014 02:19 by Daniel J Sewart
The Rams can secure their play-off position once and for all with a win over Huddersfield at the iPro, which would save themselves and the fans developing a heart condition during the final fixtures of the season.
The win at Blackpool was a timely return to form and took Derby back up to third on the table. Taking a good run of form into the play-offs is essential for any club, and considering our remaining fixtures are against lower placed clubs, The Rams must make the most of that fact.
Steve McClaren’s squad is taking shape at the business end, with both Jamie Ward and Jeff Hendrick both likely to be back in the squad but I would doubt we will see either start as the gaffer will be protecting the depth and fitness of his squad for the challenges that lie ahead.
In what I think was a good move, Mason Bennett was recalled from his loan spell during the week to add some extra pace and attack to the bench while Simon Dawkins is closing in on a return from a groin injury but wont come up in time for this afternoons clash.
For the visitors, Huddersfield bring no real injury issues into the clash but Mark Robins may look to tinker with his line-up after recently crashing to successive home defeats. Duane Holmes and Jonathan Hogg are both possibilities for recalls in the midfield while in the search for goals; Sean Scannell or Harry Bunn may be given another opportunity to start up front.
Despite not having scored since last year, The Rams will need to keep an eye on James Vaughn who can be dangerous up front with a tally of 10 goals for the season. Derby has a habit of helping players or teams find form, so let’s hope this isn’t the case with Vaughn.
Huddersfield and have not won at all in their last 8 matches while not being victorious on the road in their last 11. Once again The Rams must ensure they continue that trend rather than assist in kick starting their run home.
Since the Forest game The Rams form has been stop, start - but after their dominance of Blackpool, the depth of the squad looking healthier and The Terriers arriving not having scored in their last two - I would expect the home team to help them continue that trend by keeping them out and winning this one easily.
Score Prediction: Rams 2 – 0 Huddersfield
Current Form – Last 5 League Matches:
Derby (3rd): W, L, W, L, W
Huddersfield (17th): L, D, D, L, L
The Stats That Matter:
Steve McClaren has collected 59 points of a possible 87 points since taking over as Rams Head Coach.
Derby has won 3 and lost 2 of their last 5 including their last 2 home games.
Chris Martin will be looking to add to his season tally of 20 goals, after becoming the first Rams player since Dean Sturridge to reach the milestone.
The Rams have won their last 2 home games, during which they scored 8 goals and kept 2 clean sheets. The Terriers have lost their last 2 matches, conceding 3 and scoring 0.
The Rams have only beaten Huddersfield once in their last 4 clashes – back in 1999 when they won 3-0.
Huddersfield has not won away to the Rams since the days of the old Division Two back in November of 1957.
Classic Clash – Derby vs. Huddersfield:
2nd March 1996 - The Baseball Ground
Gaffer & Player Preview:
Photo: Action Images
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