Derby County enter the final day of this Sky Bet Championship season with the last play-off spot in their hands, as they welcome Midlands rival – West Bromwich Albion to Pride Park.
All Derby need to do is match or better Middlesbrough’s result against Rotherham and they will take the final place in the play-offs, otherwise Boro will finish sixth but if both fall to defeat and Bristol City win, the Robins will snatch that play-off place from their grasps.
West Brom could snatch third from Leeds if they win and avoid a two-legged play-off semi against fellow Midlands rivals, Aston Villa and instead face whoever finishes sixth.
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Derby could be without Richard Keogh after the defender suffered a groin injury in midweek against Swansea.
Should Keogh be declared unfit, George Evans could drop into defence from midfield but other than Keogh, Frank Lampard has no other injury concerns.
Matt Phillips and James Morrison could return for West Brom after recovering from respective ankle and hamstring injuries, although the former has been used as a sub in the Baggies’ last four matches.
Gareth Barry however is sidelined until next season as he continues his recovery from a knee operation.
Derby are unbeaten in their last five matches with 11 points from a possible 15, and have lost just one of their ten home league games in 2019.
West Brom have taken ten points from their last four games but have taken just four points from their last five away trip.
- Derby are unbeaten in four of their last five meetings with West Brom across all competitions (W3, D1, L1).
- Both teams have scored in each of their last four meetings, of which three came in Championship.
- From last two occasions where Derby went into the final day battling for a play-off spot, they have won and lost one.
Given that Derby’s fate lies in their own hands and a draw potentially not being enough, they have to just attack but their fans must be the 12th man here especially if it’s goalless entering the final ten minutes when easy to get nervous if Middlesbrough or Bristol City are winning.
West Brom meanwhile have their own task so can see a good battle but I have a feeling that Derby’s fate may lie elsewhere other than here.
Prediction: Derby County 1-1 West Bromwich Albion
Result: Derby County 3-1 West Bromwich Albion