After a fortnight’s break to make way for international football, Sky Bet Championship returns with a mid-table clash between Derby and Cardiff at Pride Park.
A home win would see Derby move above their visitors whilst Cardiff can temporarily go sixth if they can take all three points.
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Derby remain without Jayden Bogle who is struggling to overcome an ankle injury.
George Evans (thigh), Lee Buchanan (hamstring) and Ikechi Anya (calf) are also sidelined for Phillip Cocu’s Rams, whilst Scott Malone, Florian Jozefzoon and Duane Holmes are all available after overcoming injuries picked up before the international break.
Cardiff could be without Junior Hoilett due to personal reasons whilst Jazz Richards (ankle) is out after a training ground collision with Aden Flint.
Derby have taken six points from their opening six games but haven’t won since the opening weekend, despite taking three draws and two defeats from their last five.
Cardiff are unbeaten in their last three league games with a win and two draws plus their first clean sheet in their last away game at Blackburn, having taken just one victory and two defeats from their first three.
- Derby have taken just seven points from their last five league meetings with Cardiff (W2, D1, L2).
- Both teams scored in three of their last five meetings, with the last two such occasions coming at Pride Park.
- Derby’s last three permanent managers (Gary Rowett, Paul Clement & Steve McLaren – first stint) have all avoided defeat in their first clash with Cardiff (W1, D2)
- Six points from their opening six games is Derby’s worst start to a season since 2016, in which they took five points from their first six matches and eventually missed out on the Play-Offs.
- Cardiff have made the second least number of short passes this season, producing just 916 and only 111 more than what Millwall has managed.
After slow starts to the season, both teams need to start kicking on if want to challenge for promotion and unfortunately I just don’t see where the winning spark is going to come from in either team.
A draw therefore would be a good bet because both teams can score but are equally poor at the back, therefore cancelling each other out.
Prediction: Derby County 1-1 Cardiff City
Result: Derby County 1-1 Cardiff City