On Saturday Derby County will face Leeds United at Pride Park in a rivalry that stretches back a long time.
The Rams have a very impressive recent record against the Whites. The last 7 games between the sides have resulted in victories for Derby and Leeds have failed to win the last 8. You have to go back to 2005 to find Leeds’ last win over Derby, who were then managed by Phil Brown. The recent dominance by the East Midlands side hasn’t had too much barring on the clubs’ overall head to head, Leeds have won 50, Derby have won 31 and the sides have drew 25 games in their meetings. You can watch some highlights of classic games between the two clubs by CLICKING HERE.
Last season, the first game between the clubs arose on Boxing Day at Pride Park. Jamie Ward’s goal secured a 1-0 Rams victory. The return fixture came in April, at Elland Road, watch the highlights of how that game unfolded below.
Leeds have had an up and down start to the Championship season, with their current position of 11th, they’re just 4 points off the prized play-offs. The Whites have an away record that has only saw them win 3 games from 10, but still better than Derby’s away record! The clubs have, incidentally, scored the same amount of league goals so far during the 2012/13 term – 30.
Neil Warnock has assembled a strong squad at Elland Road, in both the loan and transfer market, with the likes of El-Hadji Diouf, Michael Tonge, Alan Tate and Paddy Kenny being brought in by the former Sheffield United and QPR boss. Their top goalscorer, this season, is Argentinian Luciano Becchio. The 28 year old has bagged 12 goals this campaign, over one third of Leeds’ goal total for the season.
The Yorkshire side have three former Rams amongst their ranks – Paul Green, Luke Varney and Michael Tonge. Paul Green made the move north in the summer upon his release from Derby, for who he made nearly 150 appearances during a 4 year spell. The ex Doncaster man rejected a new contract offer from the Rams, who were keen to extend his deal. Luke Varney joined the Rams, after a loan spell, for a reported fee of just over £1 million from Charlton Athletic in 2009. His Pride Park spell turned out to be quite unsuccessful, after a couple of loan moves, he made the move to Portsmouth in 2011. The Leicester born striker/winger joined Leeds in the summer, the Whites were forced to pay the money to Derby because last summer money stricken Portsmouth couldn’t pay the Rams. Stoke’s Michael Tonge is currently on loan with Neil Warnock’s side after, for the second consecutive season, being left out of Tony Pulis’ 25 man Premier League squad. Since linking back up with Neil Warnock, who managed Tonge at Sheffield United, he has produced some good performances and scored pivotal goals. Michael Tonge’s loan spell, back in 2010, impressed many Rams fans.
On the team front the Whites have only one major concern, El-Hadji Diouf is still suffering with a knock that kept him out of their win at Huddersfield Town last week. With the hectic festive schedule coming up, Leeds boss Neil Warnock won’t take any risks. West Brom loanee Jerome Thomas and Ryan Hall will battle it out to start on the Leeds’ wing, meanwhile Luke Varney is available after serving his suspension.
Gareth Roberts and Craig Bryson are injury concerns for manager Nigel Clough. The Derby left-back picked up a calf injury in the 1-1 draw to Cradiff City last week, whilst Derby’s Scottish midfielder sustained a knee problem. They will both undergo fitness tests ahead of the match. Should Roberts remain out 20-year old full-back Kieron Freeman could be the man to take his place, Nigel Clough has suggested. Flexible defender James O’Connor could also replace his Rams colleague.
Jamie Ward will not be able to take part in the game due to his hamstring problem that has seen him miss all 12 matches since the 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest. Nigel Clough on his fitness“It’s going to be three months in the end for Jamie after we thought it’d be six weeks”, meaning he could sit out the rest of the month.
It’s going to be a tight game, tell me your prediction in the below poll.
Come on you Rams!