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Reading 1 v 2 Derby County
SkyBet Championship
Friday, 3rd August 2018 Kick-off 20:00
G.M's Match Preview: Brighton Battling But Rams Must Beware Bent
Saturday, 6th Dec 2014 07:36 by George Martin

The Rams will look to bounce back after a disappointing defeat to Leeds last Saturday.

Derby never quite seemed to get into a rhythm and after a few heavy challenges early on. They were up against it after the first half goal but the killer goal came not long after half time when Russell was again caught out defensively by the overlapping Warnock, who was able to cross the ball for a smart finish.

The triple substitution of Bryson, Dawkins and young debutant Kwame Thomas added some spark but Thomas in particular will have been re-living his miss all week. If that had gone in, the final moments would have given hope in what would have been an undeserved draw.

The defeat to Leeds could mean a few changes to the starting line-up for Derby. Keogh is almost certainly out with a grade one hamstring strain, so will not be risked, especially in these cold conditions where muscles come under extra strain. This should see a return for Buxton to the left side of centre and Shotton taking over from Keogh on the right.

Dawkins could come in for Ibe and Bryson may also start in an attempt to freshen things up. This may mean Hendrick could make way, which does seem a little harsh. Jamie Ward should feature on the bench having played 65 minutes for the Derby U21 side in midweek. Who takes over the Captain's armband is up for debate. For me, the choices are Buxton, Bryson or Martin.

Brighton does not seem to have recovered from their crushing play off semi final defeat to Derby back in May. Their main striker (Ulloa), midfielder (Buckley) and Manager all left and the new gaffer, ex - Liverpool defender Hypia, does not seem to have worked so far.

Albion seem to draw a lot of games, nine in total this season, the most of anyone in the bottom 10 places in the league. They have only won 1 in their last 12 games and none of their last 6 away games. This has seen them drop into the bottom three.

They have the dangerous and tricky Lua Lua out injured plus their Captain Geer is a doubt. Striker Colunga is suspended, so Baldock should take over as Mackail Smith has been allowed to join Peterborough on loan.

The main talking point about this match concerns one person, Darren Bent. There were actually strong rumours he was going to join Derby in the summer on loan. I never thought he would drop down a division, but something has obviously changed since the start of the season.

Like all footballers, he probably just wants to start matches and play football. Whatever people think of Bent, he can score goals. He can win a match on his own and is a poacher. Whether Brighton can provide him with the service is another matter, but he started and scored last week, so that is one out one.

With Brighton out of form, on paper it look like a home win, but with a Premier League striker in their camp, Derby will need to be very tight and focused at the back.

After last weekend - I have been unsure about the outcome of this game - so I asked one of my students what he thought and without hesitation he confidently stated "2-1 Derby". So I'll run with that.

Let's get back to winning ways!

League Form / Match Stats:

Derby – 1st (L,W,W,W,L):

The Rams won all 4 of the matches between the clubs last season – including the 4 v 1 home win in the play-offs (see video below). Derby won all four meetings in all competitions last season.

Derby have only lost once at home in their last 10 encounters with Albion over the last 30 years. That single win came in November 2011.

Derby has only been defeated at the iPro once this season and after a poor showing at Leeds, will look to bounce back hard against a struggling Brighton team.

Brighton – 22nd (L,W,D,D,L):

Brighton have only managed 1 victory in their last 12 matches which was over a month ago in early November.

On the road Brighton has had an even worse time with 6 consecutive losses before today’s visit to the iPro. Their last win was in September but came against lower league opposition when they defeated Burton in the League Cup.

Last Time They Met:

Derby 4 v 1 Brighton

11th May 2014 - Championship Play Offs

Classic Clash Video:

Brighton 1 v 2 Derby

Div 2 -15th April 1992

Coach / Player Previews:

Steve McClaren previews Brighton’s visit to the iPro.

Cyrus Christie looks to bounce back at home on Saturday.


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Photo: Action Images

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