The international break is nearly over, and what better way for the Championship to get back underway than with the encounter of two top 10 teams in the division as Derby County, headed up by Premier League legend Frank Lampard, return to Sky Bet Championship action this weekend against table toppers Sheffield United.
This late afternoon game is sure to be jam packed action as both sides are looking to build on their incredibly strong starts to the campaign. Frank Lampard’s side are currently eighth in the league table, one point outside of the play-offs and seven points below the Blades. Derby go into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw with Queens Park Rangers prior to the international break, a game which saw Jack Marriott net his first league goal for the Rams.
The last time these two sides met was on New Years Day, where they drew 1-1 at Pride Park after a Leon Clarke goal cancelled out Matej Vydra’s first half penalty.
Chris Wilder’s side are in a rich vein of form at the moment, winning their last three games and have recorded only one defeat in their previous 10 league matches. The Blades are likely to field an unchanged side as Chris Wilder has established a clear starting XI. Jake Wright and Kean Bryan remain the only noticeable absentees at this point however the introduction of Paul Coutts to first team football could see the former Derby County man gain his first start in nearly 12 months.
Derby County 1 – 1 Sheffield United
I can see this being an all too familiar feeling for both sets of fans again at Pride Park, with it being a mirror image of the opening 2018 game back in January. Both sides have players rich in form, Sheffield United with the club and Derby County both with the club and with their international contributions. One noticeable one being another stunning free-kick from Harry Wilson, something the Blades need to be wary of. However, Sheffield United can feel comfortable at the back as goalkeeper Dean Henderson kept 2 clean sheets in 2 games for England U21s.
However this being said, I feel Sheffield United’s run of form will take knocks along the way, and a draw at what will be a sell-out crowd at Pride Park will be seen as a success. 1-1.