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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Friday, January 19th 2018

Big Match Preview: Derby County away

It's second versus fifth in the Sky Bet Championship tonight, under the lights and in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

City thumped Derby County 4-1 in the reverse fixture but the Rams could prove a more difficult animal this time around as they look to extend their unbeaten league run.

But City have among the best away form this season, so can they pick up their first points of 2018 at Pride Park?

Here's all you need to know about City's next opponents.

FACTFILE

Formed: 1884
Nickname: The Rams
Website: www.dcfc.co.uk
Twitter: @dcfcofficial
Ground: Pride Park Stadium
Capacity: 33,597

Honours
First Division
1971/72, 1974/75,
Second Division 1911/12, 1914/15, 1968/69, 1986/87
Third Division 1956/57
FA Cup 1946
FA Charity Shield 1975

Last season
League finish: 9th
FA Cup: Fourth round, lost to Leicester City
EFL Cup: Third round, lost to Liverpool
Top Scorer: Tom Ince, 15 goals
Average attendance: 29,042

HOW DID THEY GET HERE?

Derby County scored the first goal of the 2017/18 campaign when they competed in a Friday night encounter at Sunderland in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

The game finished 1-1 and was followed by a home defeat to Wolves a week later, leaving expectant Rams supporters nervous about their start to the season.

Since then, Derby have rarely looked back and they have lost just five league matches all season.

Gary Rowett’s side enjoyed a seven-game unbeaten run before defeat to Reading but they soon picked themselves up and head into the clash with City, now eight games without defeat.

It’s been ten seasons since Derby set a Premier League record for the lowest points tally in a season and they’ve been in the Championship since. But with the current crop, Derby fans will be quietly confident of long-awaited return to the top flight.

DERBY IS ROWETT'S THIRD CLUB MANAGED

MEET THE GAFFER - GARY ROWETT

Rowett is a boss who has enjoyed an impressive climb since taking over the reins at Burton Albion in 2012. He left the Pirelli Stadium just over two years later to join Birmingham City, with Burton near the top of League Two (and they subsequently secured the title that season).

Rowett took a relegation-threatened Blues side from 21st to tenth place in the Sky Bet Championship in his first season, earning many plaudits.

When he was sacked in December 2016, with Birmingham seventh in the table, there was outcry across the football world. He was only out of work for three months, before signing on the dotted line at Derby.

His achievements this season have not gone unnoticed and he was awarded the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month award for December.

MATEJ VYDRA IS IN RED-HOT FORM THIS SEASON

STAR MAN – MATEJ VYDRA

Vydra is a man of Premier League experience (With West Brom and Watford) and he leads the way in terms of goals scored in the Championship this season.

Vydra has netted 15 times in the current campaign, which included a brace against Hull City followed by a hat-trick against Middlesbrough.

He was also the Rams scorer when they travelled to Ashton Gate back in September.

Derby County are the 25-year-old forward's sixth club after turning professional, following spells with Udinese, Club Brugge, Watford, West Brom and Reading.

CITY COME OUT ON TOP IN AN EIGHT-GOAL THRILLER

MEMORABLE MEETING 1979/80

Bristol City 6-2 Derby County

Goals: Garland 6, 85, Pritchard 12, 61, Whitehead 39, Mann 88; Davies 84, Daly 87.

Alan Dicks’ side racked up their record FA Cup win over top-flight opponents as Derby County were slaughtered in a goal-fest at the Gate.

Chris Garland began the scoring after six minutes, heading in Howard Pritchard’s corner kick, and City never looked back.

Pritchard turned goalscorer by stabbing in from close range soon after, before Clive Whitehead’s goal just before the break gave the half-time scoreline a rather one-sided look.

Things went from bad to worse for the hapless visitors, who conceded another to Pritchard on the hour, a fierce strike into the roof of the net.

Rogers Davies pulled a goal back for the visitors, only for Garland to strike again moments later.

Derby managed another consolation strike through Gerry Daly’s effort but City had the last laugh with Jimmy Mann scoring an eighth goal of the game at the death.

Bristol City: Shaw, Tainton, Whitehead, Gow, Rodgers, Merrick, Prtichard, Fitzpatrick, Rithcie, Mann, Garland.

Derby County: McKellar, Emery, Buckley, Daly, S.Powell, Osgood, Clark (Emson), B.Powell, Greenwood, Davies, Moreland.

AND FINALLY...

Officials
Referee: Darren England
Assistant Referees: Nick Greenhalgh and John Flynn
Fourth Official: Geoff Eltringham

Betting (via Sky Bet)
Derby 21/20
Draw 12/5
Derby 14/5