Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Derby County Preview: Wolves look to push closer to the Premier League

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Derby County Preview: Wolves look to push closer to the Premier League

Wolverhampton Wanderers will be looking to extend their lead at the top of the table as they host 5th placed Derby County at Molineux on Wednesday evening.

Dominic Scott-Bone

Derby County will want to keep their play-off hopes alive as only four points separate 5th place to 10th, whilst Wolves are pushing closer to the title as the two meet on Wednesday.

Last time out

Wolverhampton Wanderers have one hand on the Sky Bet Championship trophy after winning 1-0 against automatic promotion hopefuls Cardiff City, albeit in somewhat bizarre circumstances with Cardiff teammates Gary Madine and Junior Hoilett missing penalties in stoppage time. 

They now sit nine points above the second placed Bluebirds who have a game in hand against Derby County which will be played in two weeks time. 

After Wolves, Derby play Aston Villa, Cardiff and Middlesbrough all in their last five games of the season. If they are to stay in the play-off places they will have to hope their recent form continues.

The Rams have rediscovered their winning ways from earlier on this season. Wins versus Preston North End and Bolton Wanderers mean that Derby should go into this one with confidence. 

Team News 

Wolves have no injury news as of yet going into this fixture, whereas Derby will miss Bradley Johnson as he continues to suffer infection in an ankle injury sustained in the home defeat versus Sunderland

Marcus Olsson and Ikechi Anya also remain sidelined.

Derby's star man hoping to shine

Derby's second goal in their 3-0 win versus Bolton marked Matej Vydra's 19th of the Sky Bet Championship season. 

His form dipped with the team's as they lost their momentum midway through the season, however the Rams' key influencer looks to have found his finishing boots scoring twice in his last three games. 

Tom Lawrence seems to have finally found his feet at Derby, his free-kick took all three points away from Preston. His goalscoring form has since continued into the Bolton fixture where he netted Derby's third with a venomous strike.

Can Neves produce once more?

Ruben Neves has been nominated for the Championship Player of the Year award after playing a significant part in Wolves' success. The Portuguese playmaker scored a quite sumptuous free-kick which was just enough to defeat Cardiff last week and he will play a key part in this tie. 

Diogo Jota is Wolves' top goalscorer this season and has been influential throughout their campaign. A permanent deal is to be completed in the summer transfer window after an agreement has been made with Atletico Madrid. Jota has bounced back from an ankle injury which kept him out of action for games against Burton Albion and Middlesbrough. Since this he has started both of Wolves' previous two games and will look to add his goal threat which was prominent before injury. 

Previous clash 

The two sides last met on just the second game week of this season. Wolves scored a goal in each half to run out 2-0 victors at Pride Park. Barry Douglas and Ivan Cavaleiro were the goalscorers that day to leave Derby with just a point from their first two games.