|Sunderland 1 v 1 Derby County|
Friday, 4th August 2017 Kick-off 19:45
G.M'sMatch Preview: Rams Must Find Form Against Struggling Villans
Saturday, 25th Feb 2017 07:01 by George Martin
Out of form Derby travel to out of form Aston Villa hoping to get their slim hopes of a promotion push back on track.
Derby huffed and puffed against Burton on Tuesday but the Brewers put eleven men behind the ball, had a game plan and were very committed in defence.
The final ball and crossing was not good enough, nor was the amount of numbers in the box. Fans do not understand why Hughes and/or Butterfield cannot become an extra man in the box when the ball is out wide.
However, the game would have been totally different had Bent not hooked over from two yards out, just before half time, with the goal gaping. A poor miss.
Bryson and Russell are back in training and therefore back in contention. Bryson may come in for Butterfield, but it maybe a little soon after yet another injury. Anya and Ince are still the most consistently dangerous going forward so should keep their place out wide.
Johnson will be hoping he is given another chance, but it's likely De Sart will keep his place. McClaren also needs to decide whether to keep Christie in for Baird at right back.
Max Lowe will continue at left back, but may not be able to play Tuesday away to Blackburn as he seems to struggle with three games in a week as he is still young.
Bent is likely to keep his place up front, but Nugent will be hoping to start soon, however, he might have to wait until Tuesday for his opportunity.
Aston Villa are on a very poor run. They have not won since Boxing Day. They have lost their last five games and not won in nine. They seem to have come off the rails since they spent millions on players that have definitely not performed. This bodes well for Derby, but The Rams are not in form either.
Record signing Kodjia is fit after a heavy knock to the ribs against Newcastle but fellow centre forward and recent signing Hogan is out for five weeks injured. Bree, another signing, this time from Barnsley, could return at full back. Villa posses’ quality and experience in midfield with Jedinak, Lansbury and Hourihane, who will be hoping to click in midfield.
Both teams will be desperate for a win. Derby, to get their promotion hopes back on track and Villa, to not get dragged into the lower end of the table and a potential relegation battle.
Both teams have experienced players and experienced managers but with both teams out of form, it could go either way. A moment of quality, a mistake in defence or taking the lead first could decide it.
Derby have a very poor record at Villa Park, not winning there since 1988.
A 1-1 draw with Bent to score but the travelling army of Rams fans will be hoping for win!
Last Time They Met:
Derby 0 v 0 Villa
Pride Park – 20th August 2016
Classic Clash Video:
Villa 1 v 2 Derby
Villa Park – 19th November 1988
Gaffer / Player Pre Match Interview:
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Photo: Action Images
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