Fulham vs Derby County Preview: Can Fulham overturn first leg deficit?

Fulham will look to overturn that one goal deficit from the First Leg when they welcome Derby County to Craven Cottage

Fulham vs Derby County Preview: Can Fulham overturn first leg deficit?
Aleksandar Mitrovic and Curtis Davis battle for the ball via Getty Images / Jordan Williamson - AMA

Fulham will hope home advantage will help them overcome Derby County and reach the Championship Play-off Final at Wembley

Derby won the first leg at Pride Park on Friday, 1-0, the winner coming from veteran forward Cameron Jerome, mid-way through the first half. The Rams withstood a barrage of Fulham pressure to take the slender lead to West London on Monday night.

Fulham need a plan B 

Fulham were stumped on Friday night by a very resilient Derby side who maintained their shape and frustrated the front three of Fulham greatly. It was plain to see how much the Cottagers struggled against, the Rams' physicality as well. 

This was a problem that Fulham faced in their final game of the regular season at Birmingham City. Against Birmingham, Fulham looked devoid of ideas and could not match the determination and strength of the Blues side.

Boss Slavisa Jokanovic will need to rethink his tactics for Monday night as Derby will probably employ a similar style to deny Fulham any sight of clear cut opportunities in the final third. 

Triple award winner Ryan Sessegnon will also need to step up his game, as he looked like a shadow of the player people know he can be on Friday night. Striker Aleksandar Mitrovic cut a frustrated figure at Pride Park as he continually got shut down by the Derby defence and was left isolated by a lack of support. 

Boss Jokanovic had this to say on following the defeat on Friday night: “What we want to do is now change this story and win the game on Monday night and fight for the opportunity to play at Wembley."

Derby want to right the wrongs of 2014

Derby County will be looking to reach their first play-off final since 2014. The Rams were defeated on that fateful day by a late Bobby Zamora strike which sent Harry Redknapp's QPR back to the Premier League. 

Derby have seen a couple of changes in management, in their search to return to the Premier League for the first time in 10 years. 

Boss Gary Rowett will hope his ageing side can see out the job. His squad's average age is 28 but five of his starting 11, are aged 30 plus, how many more cracks will this group of players have of going back to the big time.

Rowett had this to say on how he is approaching this game when speaking to RAMSTV : “You have to approach the game as if it’s 0-0. You can’t try to just hang on to a lead, we have to go and win the game again, and that has to be our mentality."

Team News

Sheyi Ojo will be looking to return to the starting XI after six weeks out. There are no other injury concerns for Jokanovic

Ikechi Anya will be hoping to start after featuring for just 22 minutes on Friday. Marcus Olsson's dreams of featuring again for Derby were quashed as it was confirmed that he has an ACL injury.