Derby fans have tolerated years of promotion near misses. The team currently sit in sixth place in The Championship table, a spot they have found themselves in at this stage plenty of times before. But can Frank Lampard be the man to take them that extra step?
The distraction of the FA Cup
Three of The Ram’s last five outings have been in the FA Cup. A gruelling two legs, with extra time and penalties against Premier League Southampton and then an arduous trip to Accrington in testing conditions. After both tough tests Derby are still in the competition, which although impressive, could prove detrimental to their league campaign.
Sandwiched in between the two Southampton games, Derby had to visit the league leaders: Leeds United. They were beaten 2-0, in what was a lacklustre County performance. The fatigue of their FA Cup exploits were exposed by a Leeds side who themselves hadn’t been in the best run of form.
The game looked a perfect opportunity for Lampard’s men to gain some ground on the teams ahead of them, whilst also making a real statement of intent to the rest of the chasing pack.
Since then, they battled to a 2-1 home victory against Reading, where again they suffered from not seeing enough of the ball, as they did against Leeds.
If you fancy another struggle for Derby, you can get Preston to win at 2.3.
Strength at home
Although Preston’s total points haul at home this season is nothing to shout about, in their 14 home matches they have only succumb to defeat three times. They have had five wins and six draws, meaning 21 of their 35 points this season have come in front of their own fans.
A big positive for Preston at home is their ability to score, only Norwich, West Brom and Aston Villa have registered more home goals this season.
They have however also shipped 22. One thing is for sure, the Deepdale crowd haven’t been short of entertainment this season. You can back this game to follow suit, over 2.5 goals is available at 1.9.
Derby have won six, lost six, drawn two on their travels this season. They have scored 20 and also conceded 20, these stats just serve as another example of their inconsistency throughout the season.
Preston’s plethora of draws at home this campaign will be of some concern to them, and they will really need to take advantage of any foothold they get in the game and take their chances when they arrive. Preston win and draw double chance is available at 1.33, with draw no bet at 1.65.
Now, you can’t produce an article on Derby County without mentioning their talismanic forward: Harry Wilson.
The Welshman possesses the ability to change any game, as we’ve seen him do so often this season. That capability may prove essential in this game if Derby are to leave with three points. Wilson is the key figure in attack and his ability to produce something out of nothing has caught the eye of everyone this season, particularly his exceptional ability from dead balls. Preston will be keen to nullify his threat, and are likely to single him out. This however may be counterproductive, as it provides Wilson with opportunities to display his set piece quality. Wilson is available at 4.0 to score anytime, if you fancy him to be the match winner, he is priced at 9.0 to be the last goal scorer.
Preston are 12 points clear of trouble at the foot of the table, and sit 10 points behind their opponents who occupy the last play-off place as it stands. The hosts will be keen not to settle for mid table mediocrity, and extend the gap from the relegation trouble to beyond any doubt. 10 points is more than an achievable margin to make up, especially if they can start to convert some of their draws in to wins. There is still plenty of time for Preston to make a dash for the upper reaches of the table. A couple of wins for sides below them could also leave the hosts looking over their shoulder, much stranger things have happened in The Championship than a team in Preston’s position being drawn in to a dogfight.
Preston draw no bet @ 1.65
Harry Wilson to score anytime @ 4.0
The match to end as a draw @ 3.3