I do have to admit; Frank Lampard’s Derby are the only side I’ve seen in the championship that scares me. There are many good teams in the championship, all of them good at different things, but after seeing Derby’s decimation of West Brom, and their very strong performance against Chelsea, despite two own goals, we all now know a very tough game is nailed on for Saturday. If you haven’t already seen, Derby are an attacking side, filled to the brim with young talent from the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool.
Their attack is spearheaded by Jack Marriott, Martyn Waghorn and Tom Lawrence, with 5 goals, 4 goals and 3 goals respectively. Their midfield consists of Chelsea loanee, Mason Mount, who has 5 goals this season, Championship veteran Tom Huddlestone and Harry Wilson, who is the newest youth product off the Liverpool academy production line.
Ex-Blues fan favourite, Curtis Davies, is currently being kept out of the side by the likes of Keogh and Tomori, and by full backs; Malone and Bogle. Both are in good from, as well as Craig Forsyth, who is playing second-fiddle to Malone at the moment. We all know of their goalkeeper, Scott Carson, who despite some high-profile mishaps for England, has been a very reliable figure in the Derby side in recent years.
However, our Blues side is in top form. Lukas Juktiewicz is still on fire, scoring goal after goal. In our last visit to Pride Park, he even scored the goal many call the best of his career, a quick Google or Youtube search will allow you to find it. Che Adams has become a decent strike-partner to help both Jutkiewicz and himself. If he keeps it up, he will fulfil the potential that surrounds his name.
Harlee Dean is available, and despite Marc Roberts putting in a brilliant performance after replacing Dean against Sheffield Wednesday, I reckon Dean will start against Derby. Morrison will be the trusty defensive partner and after all these good performances, both Dean and Morrison should be and will be the first names on the team sheet.
Despite the good performances, we have only kept 4 clean sheets this season, with 3 of them being 0-0 draws. If you have kept track, on most occasions, Blues have conceded in the final 20 minutes. With Derby able to exploit the Championship’s best defences, can they exploit ours when we are most weak, Definitely. But with 3000s Blues fans on our side at Pride Park, I reckon we will get the job done.
Before I end this piece, I would like to offer my condolences to Leicester City Football Club, after the death of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. The man is the best owner I have ever seen in football, and his way of dealing with players, staff, fans and the people around the club should be an example to any owner on how football clubs should be run.