Derby will be desperate to return to the top of the Championship at the expense of Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday lunchtime
This season’s Championship is proving to be one of the closest for many years with a mere five points separating ninth place from top spot. Derby County suffered a slight setback in their promotion ambitions as they crashed to successive defeats against Wigan and Brentford having led in both encounters.
Steve McClaren was the first to admit that his side hadn’t handled the pressure of their lofty position very well and following their defeat in the play-off final last season many will be questioning whether they have what it takes to make a return to the top flight.
Nevertheless, the side responded to their recent setback by beating Huddersfield 3-2 on Tuesday evening and considering that they have only failed to hit the back of the net once in their last 17 matches, they will be confident that they can overcome high-flying Championship newcomers Wolves on Saturday.
Wolverhampton Wanderers were held to a dire goalless draw by strugglers Birmingham City at the weekend and they will need some improvement should they wish to maintain their play-off position after their visit to Derby County.
The West Midlands side sit comfortably in 6th position with 27 points, however they have struggled for goals and indeed have scored fewer than any other team in the top eight in the division, this being a challenge they need to meet should they harbour ambitions of maintaining their lofty position and keeping in touch with the leading pack.
Derby have been excellent at home and only a defeat by Wigan has blemished their record on home turf. Huddersfield were tricky opposition on Tuesday, however they were overcome and the Rams should press home this advantage and surge back to the top of the table.
Wolves have enjoyed life back in the Championship, however they have struggled with injuries and the decision to keep the majority of their promotion winning squad in favour of new signings may prove to be a rather unwise move in the longer term.
They look questionable in front of goal compared to Derby and this will prove to be the difference between the sides on this occasion, the Rams worthy of their status as favourites to take full points in this match.
It may be some time before the home side take the lead, however they have a wealth of firepower at their disposal and further options on the bench, however with both sides playing their third game in just a week, we feel that Derby are best placed to win this weekend thanks to their stronger squad.
Our betting tip
Derby to win – Ladbrokes 11/10
Half Time/Full Time, Draw/Derby – Betfred 9/2