Often Partisan

Derby Preview in Association with EZE Group

Gary Rowett takes his resurgent Blues side the short journey north to the iPro Stadium and one of his former teams, Derby County. The Rams will be looking to get their promotion campaign back on track while Rowett will hope to build on two gritty results that have seen his side almost secure safety.

Derby County

Third-placed Derby County have gone through a bit of a slump of late, losing their last two games 2-0 and falling out of the automatic promotion places. They have kept one clean sheet in their last eight games in all competitions but they have won their last four straight home league games since going down to local rivals Nottingham Forest in January.

Chris Martin and Darren Bent both miss out through injury as does George Thorne but Cyrus Christie coud return at right-back.

Blues

Following two gritty hard-fought wins I expect things to remain largely similar for Blues – however I think that Dimmi Gray could be rested again as he has not made the impact that Rowett might have  liked in recent games with Lloyd Dyer to come in; although Mark Duffy has returned to the club from his loan spell I can’t see him being picked.

The other question is if Wes Thomas might get the nod over Clayton Donaldson, who looked exhausted at the end of the Blackpool game and who might appreciate a match rest. Otherwise, I’d expect the team to remain as is.

As much as I think Derby have a good team and Blues still have their limitations I think this is a game we could get points from and you can get 16/5 for the draw with BetVictor – if you’re feeling especially good about us 5/1 for the win seems good value too.

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48 Responses to “Derby Preview in Association with EZE Group”

  • Dave Mann says:

    With those two back to back home wins the pressure of a result today as been taken of and that might work in our favour… The pressure is all on Derby and I’ve got a sneaky that we might pull of a 2-1 victory, it’s a free shot today and lets hope we can take advantage.. If not then no damage done and we move on to Huddersfield and Cardiff where two wins are very much on the cards with the return of Morrison hopefully, come on you blue boys. Kro

  • Dave Mitch says:

    Very much based on which teams turn up. Derby are strong and favourites on paper, but have been erratic. If we turn up, we could get a result. Even a point would be good. KRO

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I don’t see any reason why we can’t get something at Derby… but we’ll have to stay really tight to do so. They have so many attacking options, it will be mainly containing them, then breaking when possible.. which is basically our normal game under Rowett.

    It might not be a popular choice, but I’d put Novak in on the left, because neither Gray, nor Dyer offer anything defensively and I think the midfield are going to have to put in a real shift. The rest, I’d leave the same. I’m going for either 1-1 or 2-2.

  • Dave mann says:

    I’ve really got on Grays case the last two home games because he’s not performed and hasent pushed on like he should have done …. Leave him on the bench with Novak playing on the left and the rest the same as Wednesday … If it gets tricky them bring him and Thomas on and maybe as I said we could nick it !! Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      For me, other than the hat-trick, I can’t see what Gray does to deserve a place. Mostly, he’s a one-trick pony. A step over (or three) a cut inside and a shot over the bar/wide/blocked.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    I got a feeling that we may hold on for a draw today,?. 2-2, comes to mind,!!. KRo.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Just seen a clip of the dressing room and the No.29 shirt is hanging up between David Davis and Paul Caddis’ shirts. Unless I’m mistaken, that’s Reece Brown’s.

  • andy says:

    I would be very surprised if Blues pull off any kind of result today. The absence of Bent and Martin is a blessing because with them in the Derby team, there would be no chance, but Blues will still have to perform much better than they did against Blackpool to have any sort of chance.

    • Harbsblue says:

      1 down in first 20 mins, just hope it is not a hammering. Fingers very very crossed. KRO

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Donaldson replaced by Novak? :-/ Dyer i8n for Gray.

    • Dave Mann says:

      Not happy at all with that!!

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Very strange decisions for me. I can understand Novak coming in on the left, but if Donaldson needs resting, Thomas should have replaced him. I hope Tesche has brought his shooting boots with him, I can’t see where the goals are coming from. Still, he could prove us wrong.

  • Dave Mann says:

    andy, there not world beaters and have not performed lately.. stop underestimating our chances saying we’ve got no chance … Do you go down or are you here now because our away support gives us every chance.. Stop being so bloody negative!! Kro

  • SuperKRO says:

    Thoughts on the team today ?

    I’m so glad he rested Donaldson as he runs his heart out every week and this rest might do him the world of good. I would have started Gray and challenged him to show us what he can do against, IMO the best team in the league as recently he hasn’t been good to say the least. Lets hope for a point at least; KRO !!

  • Dave Mann says:

    Resting Donaldson is fine if its for Thomas but NOVAK!!!! Kro

  • Eric says:

    I agree that Thomas should be the man….

  • Dave Mann says:

    Told you so you nobbs !!….stop loosing the faith .kro

  • Brad says:

    knobs.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    Amazing finish – didn’t think that would happen listening to the match on the radio. Totally understand him resting Donaldon but Dyer starting up front instead of Thomas was a strange choice. According to the BBC we had more shots than Derby so maybe we did deserve something. Come on you Baggies.

  • andy says:

    At the end of the day Dave, those 2 added time goals were Blues’ only shots on goal, I don’t think anybody can believe what happened, yes I was wrong in saying Blues have no chance at Derby, but i was correct up until the 93rd and 95th minutes!

  • StaffsBlue says:

    With 4-2-3-1, we weren’t in the game as an attacking force.. but with 4-4-2, we took the game to Derby and kind of deserved the point for the huge effort we put in to come back. But, it’s the old old fault of giving ourselves too much to do by giving away sloppy goals. I don’t think the manager deserves any points for the team he selected, but full marks to the players for never giving up.

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      Great comeback after another tired performance but with us seemingly safe now motivation has to be a factor after a long hard season. Derby obviously have that added intensity driving towards the prem and it will be equally as hard trying to match teams down the other end fighting for their lives.
      Maybe it was time to give Donaldson a breather although I agree Thomas ahead of Novak all day!

    • RichardM says:

      Agreed, it’s starting to worry me this obsession with 4-3-2-1, I can understand it for the trip to Derby, but not at home to Blackpool. Also Novak cannot play the lone striker role, you’ve got to go with Thomas or Zigic, and I feel sorry for Wes Thomas who has always impressed me when he’s been on the pitch. His pace worries defences and he deserves a shot, certainly ahead of Novak. Watch his intelligent hook-back to the far post which caught the Derby defence out allowing Tesche to head home (sorry, Clayton you may claim it but you knew nothing about it!).

  • Richard Granfield says:

    I was at the game and Derby were superior in every department, which is not surprising as they are a top two side. But we got stronger the longer the game went on and road our luck.
    Dyer was totally ineffective and unless he improves I cannot see him being at Blues next season.
    Novak gave 100% as he always does, but he is a League 1 player not Championship player.
    Blues’ need a large investment in the playing staff for next season to have any thoughts of promotion.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I wasn’t at Derby but Dyer has been a major disappointment. He is 32 now so he is just a stop gap for the rest of this season hopefully. We have the core of a decent side but GR has worked wonders to accumulate this many points with this squad. What concerns me is no more parachute payments which is going to mean a drastic reduction in revenue coming into the club. Where is the money going to come from to fund the five or six better quality players we will need to be good enough to challenge for the play-offs.

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      Shirley-the only time I will get exited about new signings and play offs is when we get sold to a buyer with money and ambition end of,never happening with this lot.

      • Shirley Blue says:

        You are probably right. There is quite a big squad there but a lot of dross. If he can offload them in the summer and improve the overall quality then with his ability to get results maybe there is a tiny bit of hope.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I think that, now we’re coming to the pointy end of the season, we can all see the players who aren’t really going to improve now, quality-wise and those players need shipping out in the summer… or we’ll not improve on this season. We have a squad now of about 34 and I think Rowett intends on skimming that by at least 10 for next season, maybe more. Hopefully, that will allow him to bring in 3 or 4 better quality players.. better than we have now at least.

          • steve says:

            Don’t think better quality players will come to us at the moment Staffs.Unless they’re on loan and the other team help with wages.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            It doesn’t have to be loan players steve. The previous manager managed to bring in most of the players we have for nothing and most of them are capable of playing in this division, some obviously aren’t. So surely Rowett, having managed down the leagues would have a better knowledge of players he could get for next to nothing. I would have thought that ridding the squad of upwards of 10 players would allow us to bring in 3 or 4 better players than we’ll release? Hopefully anyway.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    Change of subject but disgraceful scenes at Villa Park this evening. Interesting to see what the FA will do in response especially as they allowed it be kicked off at 5.30 for TV providing plenty of time for people to get p*ssed out of their brains. It doesn’t excuse what happened but it is the main reason it did. Shame about the result too – you watch them get the winners of Reading vs Bradford in the draw.

    • RichardM says:

      Yeah, I wonder if these were the same fans calling ours “small club knuckle draggers” after the pitch invasion when we beat them 2-1 at Stans in the LC Q Final. Of course it’s different in Villa’s case, I’m sure the Evening Mail will see it and call it a “spontaneous outburst of joy”! As for Bradford, I seem to recall them smashing the Villa in the LC Semi a couple of years ago, and I’m quite certain their capable of repeating the feat.

  • andy says:

    Don’t matter who they get, Villa will not win the trophy

  • Dave Mann says:

    Sorry for using the word knobs on yesterday’s post but I was just a little angry with some fans words about us getting stuffed… We were second best through out the game but to score two goals in injury time and get a great 2-2 draw and our best point of the season filled me with pride and yet made me a little bit upset with faithless fans …. I was not happy with the starting line up but we showed bottle and refused to get beaten and that’s a good sign for the future under this manager … Like most fans have said that if rowett had been here at the start of the season we would be pushing for the playoffs but next season money or no money we WILL be there or there abouts with that sort of attitude..,,,ime now pissed of with vile going to wembley , ah well there no what it’s like to loose because I’ve been three times in 1991,1995 and 2011 and we’ve won all three ! Lol & kro

    • Raymondo says:

      My Derby County supporting next door neighbour is well pi…d off. Can’t stop laughing! Your were right Dave. KRO

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I said that I saw no reason why we couldn’t get something from the game. I predicted 1-1 or 2-2. Glad I’m not a knob Dave. ;)

      • Dave mann says:

        It certainly was not meant for you staffs because you said2-2.. Bang on bro !! Kro

        • StaffsBlue says:

          The one thing about Blues over the last 2 or 3 seasons, is that they never give up, even when they’ve been outplayed. That’s why I’m always confident that we can get something, whoever the opposition. :)

      • staffs is never wrong says:

        Bet you didn’t think that at 90 minutes

    • steve says:

      We had more attempts than they did Dave

    • steve says:

      Problem is Dave,you slag people off for having a different opinion to you. I didn’t expect anything yesterday,so i,m chuffed with a point. Don’t abuse people for having an opinion that’s different to yours.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    What a coincidence! The last time referee Iain Williamson officiated at a Blues’ game we were 2 down and equalised in injury time at the Reebok!
    I thought Williamson was first class yesterday. He received fierce verbal abuse from the Derby fans, unjustified imo, but stayed strong and made the right and brave decisions in the match.

  • Dave Mann says:

    It depends which way you look at it, when he refs we perform in injury time and score two goals but then again we give teams a two goal start also … From where I was he made contact with Tesche so penalty awarded, good decision for me and I normally will say it as I see it without bias ! Kro

    • steve says:

      I think it was a penalty and could have been a red card,he was in on goal. Where did all the added time come from ?

      • StaffsBlue says:

        For me, it was a definite penalty. As Ince put his foot in, he shoved Tesche, that’s what caused him to fall. A blatant push in the area is a penalty. As for the time added on, I can only think that it was for time wasting.


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