Derby County vs West Bromwich Albion preview: Baggies unbeaten ahead of clash
Kenneth Zohore rescued a late point from the penalty spot against Reading on Wednesday night to maintain West Brom's unbeaten start. Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images.

Derby County vs West Bromwich Albion preview: Baggies unbeaten ahead of clash

West Brom will look to maintain their unbeaten start to the season against a Derby side yet to light up at home this season.

stephen-ibbetson
Stephen Ibbetson

West Bromwich Albion head across the Midlands with their unbeaten start to the Championship season intact.

It is the first time they have survived the opening four league games of a season without tasting defeat in 10 years, since their 2009-10 promotion-winning campaign.

Slaven Bilic’s side won’t be getting carried away though, and certainly not after they handed over their ‘get out of jail free’ card to sneak a late point at home to Reading in midweek with Kenneth Zohore’s 88th minute penalty.

Both of Albion’s wins so far have come away from The Hawthorns, taking the points on the opening day at Nottingham Forest before another success at Luton Town.

Derby County have felt the pressures of playing on home turf as well, with the midweek loss to Bristol City following a goalless draw with Swansea City in an uninspiring start to Phillip Cocu’s time at Pride Park.

Their two best performances have come on the road, albeit against teams struggling at the beginning of the campaign, beating Huddersfield Town and securing a 2-2 draw at Stoke City.

The Rams have shown they have potential but have struggled to break teams down at home so far, and West Brom will be confident of frustrating yet again in this clash.

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Team news

Derby have no new injury concerns for their clash with the Baggies but they remain without a number of their top players.

Jayden Bogle (ankle), Andre Wisdom (knee), Ikechi Anya (calf) and Craig Forsyth (knee) are still out. Duane Holmes played for the Under-23s on Monday as he makes a return from a groin injury but is not expected to feature yet.

Jack Marriott scored off the bench in Tuesday’s defeat to Bristol City, but Cocu says he may still not be ready for a first league start following a thigh injury in pre-season.

West Brom could also start without their midweek goalscorer, with Zohore reporting a slight calf knock after the game.

Winger Hal Robson-Kanu has missed the last two matches with a back complaint but has resumed full training. Ahmed Hegazi is still out after ankle surgery in pre-season.

What the managers have said

Both bosses have acknowledged that their opponents should be at the right end of the table come the end of the season.

Cocu said: “West Bromwich Albion are a good team and they have an experienced manager.

“They’ve had a good start to the season and they are a good side in possession and have players who want to be on the ball.

“It is good for us also that they, like us, like to have the ball and I look forward to these types of games.”

Counterpart Bilic said of the Rams: “They’re a big club. Last season they were almost there.

“They’ve signed (Wayne) Rooney for the second half of the season. (They are a) massive club, one of these clubs like we are and more than a dozen others in this league. It makes this league so interesting and so big.

The former West Ham United boss expects Derby will be looking to bounce back after defeat last time out.

“They lost a game at home (to Bristol City) that they didn’t expect. Nobody likes it (losing) away, not to mention at home. They are going to be more up for it, they will want to make it up for the loss at home on Tuesday.”

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