Sky Bet Championship action resumes with a round of Good Friday fixtures alongside the rest of EFL.
Being the prime time game, Derby could very well need a win if other results of fellow play off rivals go against them, including Middlesbrough who host Wolves in the tea time game.
Sunderland meanwhile know that victory here is pivotal to their survival hopes, regardless of what happens earlier in day.
Derby have to make do without midfielder, Tom Huddlestone as he serves his one match ban here.
Marcus Olsson (back) and Sam Winnall (cruciate ligament) are yet to resume training so will not be available.
Joe Ledley and George Thorne could return from calf injuries here, whilst Chris Baird is back from a three match suspension.
Sunderland are without several players to injury.
Jonny Williams (quad), Robbin Ruiter (finger), Ty Browning (knee) and Duncan Watmore (ACL) are all ruled out of this match.
Darron Gibson remains suspended due to an off pitch incident a fortnight ago.
Joel Asoro has been ruled out of this fixture with a suspected concussion, picked up whilst on international duty representing Sweden’s U21s.
The Swede however could be back in the team on Easter Monday, subject to medical clearance.
Black Cats defender, Marc Wilson is in line for a return from a groin injury.
Derby are winless in last seven matches with five draws and two defeats.
At home, the Rams have lost once in their last nine league matches with 15 goals scored and conceding six.
Sunderland come here winless in last ten, taking just three draws from that run.
Since a 1-0 away win at Nottingham Forest at end of December, the Mackems have conceded 13 and netted just five from six away games.
- Derby are on a 11 match winless run against Sunderland (D5 L6).
- In their last five second tier meetings at Pride Park between these teams, Derby have taken just five points from a possible 15.
- In Derby’s other two home games against Sunderland’s fellow relegation companions – Burton Albion and Birmingham City, the Rams have taken four points.
- Sunderland have lost their two away games against two of current play-offs sitting clubs (Aston Villa 2-1, Middlesbrough 1-0).
Where game be won and lost?
|Per Game Average||Derby County (home)||Sunderland (away)|
|Shots on Target||4.61||2.58|
|Goals per First Half %||55.2||47.6|
|Goals per Second Half %||44.8||52.4|
Derby should win the attacking side of this game, if can be more clinical because they have wasted an average 9.61 shots from shots average to those on target.
Sunderland will lose this game if can’t keep their discipline in order, given that they have seen red three times away from home despite the foul averages being very close.
With a tight goal average gap of 0.5 goals, I can see this being a competitively open match, particularly seeing as Derby don’t tend to score as many after half time as do pre break.
If the Mackems can make that issue count then they will surely get something from this match, even if doesn’t help them much now but could be crucial come May.
Given Derby’s struggles against Sunderland, a draw here won’t be bad because it could be critical come 6th May.
Sunderland however are due an away point against a current play off sitting club, so a repeat draw is my guess.
Prediction: Derby County 1-1 Sunderland
Result: Derby County 1-4 Sunderland