Derby County host promotion-chasing Fulham in Friday night Championship action.
The visitors make the trip to Pride Park with their ego bruised as they look to bounce back from a shocking 3-0 defeat at home to the division’s bottom side Barnsley last Saturday. The struggling Tykes have now done the double over Scott Parker’s Cottagers.
However, it won’t be easy at Pride Park. No side has picked up more points on home soil than Derby this season, who recently won five consecutive games there before last weekend’s fairly tame 1-1 draw with Huddersfield - they’ve also lost just twice on their own patch all season.
Phillip Cocu’s Rams are still stuttering somewhat in midtable but have improved since Wayne Rooney came in at the turn of the year; only Bristol City and Birmingham have picked up more points over the eight league games since he made his debut, adding a bit of class and experience to their midfield, though a little less prolific with goals these days with just two so far.
For Fulham, there will be plenty of focus on goalkeeper Marek Rodak, who had a rare off-day with an error-strewn display in the defeat to Barnsley. At the other end, they boast the division’s top scorer in Aleksandar Mitrovic with a very impressive tally of 21 goals so far.
The Serbian international striker proved the difference for the Cottagers when they went up through the play-offs two years ago. That included a semi-final triumph over Derby, in which they recovered from a 1-0 first leg defeat here at Pride Park with a 2-0 win at home in the second leg. They also comfortably beat the Rams with a 3-0 win in the reverse fixture at Craven Cottage three months ago.
We recommend backing Derby here. They’ve got a very solid home record, while Fulham looked concerningly vulnerable in last week’s defeat.
Derby to win – 19/10 with bet365
All prices correct at time of writing and are subject to change.
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