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G.M's Match Preview: Clement's Midfield Management Could Make Or Break
Saturday, 21st Nov 2015 07:04 by George Martin

Derby welcomes Cardiff to the iPro stadium in their first game back following the international break.

After a number of good performances and results, there was a sour taste to dwell on after a very poor performance and defeat against Notts Forest.

In a game where Thorne was off the pace, Johnson was too deep, Russell and Wiemann were anonymous and substitutions by Clement were all wrong, Derby never looked like scoring and deserved to lose.

This makes the staring line up, especially in midfield, an interesting debate. The back four and goalkeeper will stay the same with Keogh and Shackell at centre back and Christie and Warnock in the full back positions.

Ince should come in for Russell or Weimann. They were that poor against Notts Forest, anyone can take their pick, it is likely to be Weimann who drops to the bench but as he has been in goal scoring form it will be an interesting decision for Clement to make.

Clement must also choose three from four in central midfield or actually from five if you include Bryson. Out of all the midfielders Bryson does offer a lot of energy and will get close and beyond the sometimes isolated Martin.

It is likely Thorne and Johnson will start with Hendrick, Bryson and Butterfield fighting for last spot. All three will have arguments for and against why they should or should not start.

After sticking with Russell Slade through tough times this season, Cardiff have started well and are just out of the play off places. They are organised, compact, hard to break down and do not concede many goals.

Marshall is a good goalkeeper, Noone competent in midfield, with Mason and Jones a threat going forward. Whittingham and Gunnarrson are goal threats with Whittingham usually delivering well from set pieces.

Jones should start up front despite having been away on international duty but De Silva and Macheda are out injured. Ameboi will look to make an impact as and when needed from the bench.


This will be a difficult game for Derby and they would benefit from a goal in the first 25 minutes. This would draw Cardiff out a little as Derby try and break down their stern defence.

Cardiff concede few goals, but do not score many either. They have had good recent results against Reading and Brighton. Cardiff will be a danger from set pieces so the Rams will need to be fully focused and get to the ball first.

I hope I'm wrong, but with this being the start of a very difficult run of fixtures, I am going to predict a 1-1 draw.

If I listen to my heart Derby will win 2-1.

Head or Heart…? We will see…!


Last Time They Met:

Cardiff 0 v 2 Derby

Cardiff City Stadium - Jan 31st 2015

Classic Clash Video:

Derby 3 v 1 Cardiff

Pride Park Stadium - 17th March 2007

Gaffer & Player Match Previews:

Paul Clement previews the Cardiff clash at the iPro.

Scott Carson want to keep his sheet clean against Cardiff.


Photo: Action Images

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