D.J's Match Preview: Will Wigan Be Rams Revival Or Beginning Of The End?
Monday, 6th Apr 2015 09:52 by Daniel J Sewart
Derby head to Wigan desperate for a win to ensure they do not drop out of the play-off positions, their hosts will be just as desperate as they face relegation.
This is a massive banana skin for the Rams, as mastering their nerves will play a massive part, mainly due to the position they have got themselves into over the last month.
If they can silence Wigan early it could be a comfortable win, as the Lactics may drop their heads if it all starts to go wrong, but if the Rams give them a sniff then it may be tough sailing as Derby know only a win will do this time out.
George Thorne is likely to miss after pulling up sore less than half an hour into his return match against Watford. With Eustace and Mascarell also unavailable for the holding role, it may be time for ‘plan b’, with both Martin and Bent up front, Hughes and Bryson in midfield and Hendrick at Right Back after impressing in the position following Christie’s double brain snap on Friday night.
Ince and Russell should hold their spots but Ward and Lindgard will no doubt be injected at the game goes on, especially if the Rams are searching for a killer blow.
It’s time to use both of our weapons up front and give Wigan serious headaches against two strikers who score in their sleep. If McClaren does not want to risk Martin for a full game yet, I would like to see the same formation but move Russell up front with Bent and start Ward over Lingard who will be dying to be let off the leash.
For me Ward could be the wildcard in the run home as he is pure attacking class and will score goals. We need his terrier like skills more than ever to inject some energy into the early stages. I was surprised it was not Jamie instead of Martin that came on late against Watford, as I felt he would have inflicted more terror upon their tiring 10 men.
Wigan are likely to be without Josh Murphy who had to be subbed at half time in their loss to Boro and may be replaced by Marc Antoine-Fortune in the starting line up against the Rams.
Jermaine Pennant and Leon Clarke are also in doubt after leaving the field early on Friday. Martyn Waghorn and William Kvist will be in line for a start as will James McClean who played a full 90 minutes in his comeback from injury.
Don Cowie (knee), Emyr Huws (ankle) and Grant Holt (knee) will all miss the match as they battle their respective long term injuries.
Wigan will throw everything at Derby as they look to escape the drop and you would hope that Derby will throw everything at Wigan as they look to rescue their unravelling season and avoid dropping out of the top 6.
The match is so important for both teams it could come down to a single mistake or a moment of class to settle the match. Hopefully that mistake will not be a brain snap from a Derby defender, something we are seeing far too often in recent matches.
Wigan have not won a match at home in 17 attempts since August last year. If the Rams lose this one, we should all pretty much pack up and give it away as there will be no excuses this time.
Though I expect some nervous moments, my prediction is the Rams will have too much class and will continue their slow climb back to form, that although stuttering, I believe is and will come, hopefully as we head into the play-offs.
This game has the potential to resurrect the Rams but at the same time it could be the beginning of the end if they let this one slip. Only a win will do, especially against a team sitting 23rd, and don’t think there wont be a Derby player that does not know that.
Class will rise to the top and finally put the Rams back on the winners list.
A 0-3 win for Derby, with a brace for Bent and one for Russell.
Don’t let me down boys – I am almost out of optimism.
League Form / Match Stats:
Wigan – 23rd (L, W, L, D, L):
Wigan have won 4 and lost 1 of the last 5 clashes against the Rams.
Wigan have lost 2 of their last 3 matches and have not won since mid March.
Wigan have not won a match at home in their last 17 attempts losing 10 and drawing 7. Their last victory at the DW was in August last year.
Derby – 6th (D, D, L, L, D):
Derby has managed 2 wins and 1 loss from their last 3 trips to the DW stadium.
The Rams have not won a match in their last 7 (4 losses, 3 draws), having gone since February without a victory.
Derby’s form on the road has also been poor aving lost 3 and drawn 3 of their last 6 road trips since late January.
Last Time They Met:
Derby 1 v 2 Wigan
iPro Stadium – 25th October 2014
Classic Clash Video:
Derby 2 v 1 Wigan Pride Park Stadium – 8th January 2005
Coach / Player Video Previews:
Paul Simpson previews the Rams trip to Wigan
Photo: Action Images
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