Derby County have just knocked Manchester United out of the Carabao Cup. Yes, you read that right. So surely after such an enthralling victory we should be full of confidence heading into this weekend’s fixture against Bolton, but would you really be surprised to see us drop points? I know I wouldn’t, as after all we are Derby, however, maybe it’s time to finally change our fortune, and three points following this match day would definitely be the perfect next step towards achieving that.
The Rams played some of the best football I have ever seen them play in those 98 minutes at Old Trafford on Tuesday night, and if we carry that same approach into every game this season, then there’s no doubt in my mind that we can achieve something special. But there’s still 37 hurdles, in the form of fixtures, left to come throughout the league campaign so we’ll have to see how we get on for the remained of the season, starting with Bolton.
Bolton have had a mixed start to the season, but that doesn’t necessarily mean poor. The Trotters have won three, drew three, and lost three of their opening nine matches, including an impressive away victory at the Hawthorns against West Brom on the opening day of the season, a dramatic finish to the match saw Yanic Wildschut score the winner in the 89th minute to earn a 2-1 win for the visitors.
The clear threats posed by Bolton come in the shape of the afore mentioned wide man, Yanic Wildschut, and the former Charlton Atheltic forward, Josh Magennis. The two of them have amounted to a combined five goals this season, it may not seem a lot, however, their goals tend to be crucial, the vast majority of those goals earning vital equalisers or winners for the Wanderers. I’m sure that Frank will have especially pointed the pair out to the lads.
The key battles throughout this encounter will hopefully be between our front three, most likely Mason Bennett, David Nugent, and Harry Wilson, against the potentially leaky Bolton defence. Our front three played with ease against an experienced Manchester United defence on Tuesday, and against a hardworking Brentford back four the weekend before that, helping the side score five goals across the two matches. If our attack is anywhere near as cynical as it was in the previous two matches, then Bolton may be in for a rough day at the office. I’m hoping to see us press right from the get go once more, hopefully this time we’ll last the first five minutes without conceding. Of course, I also believe that Mason Mount and Bradley Johnson could be key this weekend if we’re to get a result.
For Bolton’s predicted line-up, I would go with something like this, slightly changed from their last outing, a 0-0 draw against Ipswich, which saw veteran defender Marc Wilson get sent off;
David Wheater (C)
Wilson’s suspension means that a return to the starting 11 for club captain, David Wheater, is very much on the cards for Bolton.
As for Derby, I can’t think of any reason whatsoever to change the line-up, two solid performances in a row and no fresh injury concerns for the Rams leads me to believe that we’ll be seeing the same eleven for the third match in a row, something we’re yet to see under Lampard. In case you needed reminding, here it is;
Richard Keogh (C)
The only potential change I could see happening is the inclusion of Florian Jozefzoon for Mason Bennett, however, I only have a slight inkling that this may happen, so realistically the most likely scenario is that our Deutsch winger will come onto the field in place for someone in the latter stages of the second half.
Overall, it’s a happy camp down in Derby at the moment and long may it stay that way. Now all we can do is sit back, try to relax, and watch on as Derby face their thirteenth competitor of the season. Fingers crossed it’s a good display!
Picture Credit: Derby County