Nickname: The Rams
Stadium: Pride Park
Distance from the KCOM Stadium: 94.8 miles (1 hour 37 minutes)
Manager: No-one quite knew what to make of Derby’s appointment of Frank Lampard in the summer considering it was his first job in football management. However, he’s already proved that he is more than capable of going on to become a top manager. The Rams are currently in and around the play-offs which is arguably where they would’ve expected to be before the season kicked off. Lampard inherited a talented squad but he’s been able to add further flair to the side and has implemented an attractive style of play. It certainly seems as though the Rams have got their latest managerial appointment spot on.
Frank Lampard’s Managerial Record at Derby County: P36 W16 D11 L9
Star Man: Due to the abundance of quality throughout Derby’s squad, it is very difficult to pick out one individual star player. However, it’s fair to say that the player who has stood out for Lampard’s side the most this season has been Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson. Well known to all of a black and amber persuasion following his exploits whilst on loan at the KCOM Stadium last season, the 21-year-old winger has a wand of a left foot and has already scored 12 goals in all competitions this season. A number of his goals have come from set pieces so the Tigers will have to try and avoid giving any cheap free-kicks away within striking range, as Wilson has the quality to find the back of the net from range from any distance.
Form Guide: It’s fair to say that the Rams’ form has been somewhat inconsistent over the last few weeks. A few too many draws is perhaps the key reason why they’ve dropped out of the play-off places for the time being. The Rams have responded well to losing away at Leeds just short of a month ago though, beating Reading 2-1 on home soil before securing a place in the last 16 of the Emirates FA Cup when beating Accrington Stanley 1-0. And they survied a second-half onslaught from Preston North End to secure a goalless draw at Deepdale last time out.
Formation: Considering he’s still in the early stages of his managerial career, it comes as no surprise that Lampard has utilised a number of different formations this season and has been open to making changes. He’s already used a 4-1-4-1, 4-2-3-1 and a 4-4-3 formation, and tends to alter the way his side sets-up every couple of games. Due to the Rams’ inconsistent results using a 4-4-3 formation throughout January, Lampard switched back to a 4-2-3-1 formation against Preston, but this also failed to yield three points.
Line-Up: It’ll be interesting to see whether Lampard opts to name any of his new signings in the Rams’ starting line-up against the Tigers this weekend. The likes of Ashley Cole and Andy King could be involved, now that they’ve had time to adjust to their new surroundings following their moves to Pride Park last month.
Tactics: Having played under numerous different managers throughout his illustrious playing career, Lampard will have picked up a significant amount of tactical knowledge and skills to use in his own managerial career. He has already shown at Pride Park that he’ll be looking to implement an attractive style of play moving forward. The likes of Mason Mount and Harry Wilson give the Rams the quality to be able to pull this off. He’s built a very young side but also has a nice mix of experience as well. When everything clicks for the Rams, they have looked like one of the most dangerous sides in the Championship.
Head-to-Head: The two sides have met 62 times in league and cup football with the Tigers claiming 22 victories, as opposed to Derby’s tally of 23, with 17 encounters ending as stalemates.
Last Time We Visited Pride Park: Derby County 5-0 Hull City | Friday 8th September 2017
It’s fair to say that the Tigers’ last trip to Pride Park was a day to forget as Derby County hammered registered a 5-0 win with a ruthless performance in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Matej Vydra’s free-kick put the hosts ahead, before Sebastian Larsson missed the chance to equalise when he fired a penalty over the crossbar.
Vydra rounded off a neat move, Curtis Davies headed in against his former club and Bradley Johnson turned in from six yards to make it 4-0 by half-time before Johnson completed the scoring in the second half to wrap up what was a convincing victory.