Derby failed to show their best last weekend when the team suffered 2:1 defeat away to Cardiff on Saturday evening. However, they had more of the ball possession but weren’t that creative, while the hosts knew better what they wanted on the field, looking way better with the ball to their feet and finally, celebrating the victory rather deservedly.
Hosts opened the lead in 37th minute with a goal from Ecuele Manga, but the guests responded just few minutes into the second half via Martin. O’Keefe brought the home side back into the lead in 68th minute, leaving the players of Derby without proper respond later on. Despite a defeat, Derby remained on sixth position, still being inside the play-off zone, having two points more than seventh placed Cardiff. Logically, they need to search for a victory now, not only to secure the play-off ticket as soon as possible, but also to try and improve their rankings, so the team would have the best possible starting position in play-offs. Their manager Darren Wassall will probably want to make some changes after their defeat on Saturday, as Cyrus Christie could be recalled at the position of right full back. Visitors will be without midfielder Jeff Hendrick (32/2) due to thigh strain. Midfielder Will Hughes missed the previous part of the season with a ligament injury, but could return very soon. Left back Craigh Forsyth (12/0)remains injured.
After a run of negative results, six matches without a victory in all competitions to be precise, Hull finally responded with much better performance and won easily at home over Bristol City 4:0 last Saturday evening. They were better from the off and a quick goal in fourteenth minute via Davies brought much needed stability in their performance.
Visitors had their own chances too, however players of Hull looked way more concrete in the offense and more stable in all lines, doubling up the lead in 39th minute via Snodgrass. Till the end of the game, the Tigers have scored two more, in 71st minute via Diame and nine minutes later with a goal from Aluko. It was a fully deserved and well fought victory for the Tigers, who have surely improved the morale now in front of even more important matches. They are currently four points below the second placed Middlesbrough and although the chances for direct promotion aren’t lost, the team anyway needs to get victories at least to secure as high as possible position before the play-off starts. Their coach Steve Bruce could name an unchanged squad after Sam Clucas (37/6) trained yesterday, since he picked up a minor knock in their victory last Saturday. On loan midfielder Nick Powell (3/0) is only injured player for them.
Derby have won their last 3 home matches (Championship).
Derby is a slight favorite here, since the team plays well at home in recent matches, however the Tigers are coming in a good mood after their morale boosting victory. I expect rather open game, with both teams having enough chances to score at least once. At least, that’s where I see value for this game, since I believe the chances are well better than the current odds suggest.
picks: Both teams to score