Derby County host Norwich City in the Championship on Saturday afternoon, hoping to stay above Aston Villa in the race for automatic promotion. Derby currently occupy second place, but Villa are just one point behind them in third.
The Canaries currently sit thirteenth, but two 1-0 wins in a row, including an impressive victory over Middlesbrough in their last game mean that they come into this game with confidence. A win could also see them move as high as ninth, if other results go in their favour.
Cameron Jerome set to face his former team mates
Cameron Jerome is likely to start against his former side after he made his first start and scored for the Rams in their 3-0 victory over Brentford last weekend.
The 31-year-old signed an initial eighteen month contract with the Rams in January after an undisclosed fee was agreed with Norwich. He spent four years with the Canaries, making a total of 138 appearances for the club, he is sure to receive a good reception from Norwich fans, but he will be hoping to score against his former team.
Gary Rowett’s side continued their impressive run of form last weekend when they defeated Brentford 3-0 to extend their unbeaten run to eleven games.
The game turned in Derby’s favour in the twenty-first minute when Sergi Canos was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Derby left back Marcus Olsson. After that the game was easy for Derby and Tom Huddlestone got his first goal for the Rams on his 125th appearance to make it 1-0. Four minutes later Jerome got his first Derby goal to make it 2-0, and in second half stoppage time, Championship top scorer Matěj Vydra made it 3-0 from the penalty spot.
That victory ensured that Rowett’s team held second place over Aston Villa who also continued their fine form by beating Burton Albion 3-2 last weekend. The Rams remain just one point ahead of Villa with sixteen games to go, but Rowett told the club’s official website that they are only focused on themselves, “it’s about worrying how many points we get, not worrying about other team’s results.”
Norwich hope to continue recent good form
Daniel Farke’s side are currently on a run of two games unbeaten after they beat both Brentford and Middlesbrough 1-0. They have lost just one game in the league since the start of 2018, that was a 2-1 defeat at home to Sheffield United.
Rams hold advantage
When Derby and Norwich met earlier in the season at Carrow Road the Rams ran out 2-1 winners. David Nugent gave them the lead before Timm Klose equalised in the 71st minute, but Sam Winnall came off the bench to score the winner in the 83rd minute. Therefore, Norwich will be coming to Pride Park on Saturday hoping to get revenge over the Rams and maintain their unbeaten run.
Bradley Johnson could return to the Derby squad to face his former team after missing a few weeks with a back injury. Joe Ledley could also return to the starting eleven after coming off the bench against Brentford last week.
January signings Dennis Srbeny, Onel Hernandez, Marcus Edwards and Mortiz Leitner will all be hoping to make an appearance for Norwich at Pride Park on Saturday.
Predicted line ups
Derby County (4-2-3-1): Carson; Wisdom, Keogh, Davies, Olsson; Huddlestone, Ledley; Lawrence, Vydra, Anya; Jerome.
Norwich City (3-4-1-2): Gunn; Hanley, Zimmermann, Klose; Reed, Tettey, Trybull, Lewis; Maddison; Oliveira, Murphy.