3 wins in a row, 3 clean sheets in a row, and 8 impressive goals means that things are suddenly starting to look much brighter under Frank Lampard.
Since the last preview, Derby have beaten Preston 2-0 at home, and then smashed Hull City 4-0 away from home in the Carabao Cup, in what was the first of an awkward double header for the Rams in East Yorkshire. The cup draw had set it so that Derby would travel to the KCOM Stadium twice in the space of 5 days, and if the league result is anything similar to the cup result then there will be plenty of happy supporters come Saturday night.
The KCOM has been somewhat of a happy stomping ground for Derby in recent seasons, with the past four games there resulting in 3 wins and a draw for the Rams, with 8 goals scored and none conceded. If you add together the home and away scores from the last 10 matches, the aggregate score would be 20-7 in our favour. It’s fair to say that we’re a sort of bogey side for the Tigers. That being said, we all know it’s never going to be that simple, after all it wouldn’t be uncharacteristic of Derby to go and lose 1-0 after such an impressive display on Tuesday!
Hull have surprisingly struggled so far this season, with one league win from 5, problems continuing with their owners, and Nigel Adkins’ future in doubt setting them up for a season of doom and gloom. Of course it’s not too late to change the path that they’ve started carving – the match this weekend being a great opportunity to get back on track.
Noticeable threats from what has been a tame Hull City side so far lie in the form of Jackson Irvine, Frazier Campbell and Jarred Bowen. Formerly of Burton Albion, Irvine poses a threat either at the heart of midfield or out on the left, with it being his job to create chances for the likes of Campbell, and in some cases Nouha Dicko, both renowned Championship goal poachers. Bowen, similarly to Irvine, has a big impact from midfield. The 21-year-old scored 15 goals and recorded 3 assists from the right flank last season making him a real standout player in a rather dull Hull squad as of late.
From where Derby stand, it’s the chance to get a fourth win in a row. Martyn Waghorn is now off the mark, as is Florian Jozefzoon. Duane Holmes came on and made his debut the other night too, assisting two goals in twenty minutes, even getting the ball in the net only for it to be ruled offside. Marriott was also playing extremely well on his last outing, and the only thing missing from his performance was a goal, but there were promising signs from the 23-year-old. On another promising front, Tom Huddlestone is back from injury and is seemingly the midfield option that we’ve been crying out for in the 4-2-3-1 formation.
The key battles throughout this encounter will hopefully be between our front line and their defence, with the excellent form of Mason Mount and the great group of forwards available for selection this match day, I expect Lampard to field a strong attack with the intent of breaking down the (so far) vulnerable Hull defence. Frank has a wide range of talent on offer in the wide positions, even with Harry Wilson still currently injured, as Tom Lawrence, Jozefzoon, Mason Bennett, Holmes and even Waghorn are all available and able to play on the wing. We’re almost spoilt for choice. Let’s hope it’s too much for Hull to handle.
As far as predicted lineups go, Derby’s is as difficult as always. After such an emphatic victory on Tuesday, with many players staking a real claim for a starting spot, and two players returning from injury, it’s anyone’s guess who’ll be fielded come kick off. However, I don’t think it will be too far away from something like this;
It’s tough to call the formation between 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 at the moment, as Lampard has experimented with both so far, and despite the 4-2-3-1 being so effective last time out, it’ll be a different game altogether this time round, so with the 4-3-3 being the more successful formation so far this campaign, it would make sense to shift back into that formation for the last game prior to the international break.
As for Hull, they’ve utilised the 4-4-1-1 formation in the league so far this season, with personnel almost unchanged, so I can see a lineup similar to this when they face up against the Rams;
This eleven will offer a completely different challenge to the side that faced Derby in the league cup, and as Frank Lampard said after that cup victory: “When we return here on Saturday, we have to start again.” It won’t be straightforward, but I’m confident in the squads capability, and if they perform as well as they have been recently then it should be another three points for the lads in black in white. All that’s left to do now is wait and see!
Come on Derby!