Match Preview: Derby County v Rovers

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Rovers return to the road this afternoon as they make the trip to the East Midlands to take on Derby County. Daniel Ainsworth previews the fixture below.

After a disappointing run of form, Rovers returned to winning ways last time out with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Reading.

Tony Mowbray’s men will look to back up the Royal victory as they travel to Pride Park, a place that they ran out as 4-0 victors last time they visited, with Bradley Johnson’s brace accompanied by goals from Tyrhys Dolan and Adam Armstrong.

They will have to do it without the impressive Daniel Ayala, who is set to miss his first game of the season having been taken off early in the aforementioned Reading fixture. Added to the doubts surrounding Ryan Nyambe and Harry Pickering’s injury status, Rovers’ woes on the road could continue.

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However, with the impressive duo of Jan Paul van Hecke and Tayo Edun expected to start at the back, and a surprise appearance from Joe Rankin-Costello on the cards, the players are available for Rovers to take all three points.

They face a Derby County side who sit bottom of the Championship table, but that doesn’t tell the full story due to the Rams picking up a 12-point deduction after heading into administration.

Goals have been hard to come by for the Rams, with Wayne Rooney’s side scoring just nine times all season – in stark contrast to Rovers’ 23 goals this campaign, although at the other end, only Bournemouth have conceded less than Derby’s eleven.

Former Rovers forward Tom Lawrence leads the scoring charts with just two goals this season but having scored twice against his former employers since his loan spell at Ewood, he will remain a threat.

Another familiar name in the opposition ranks is Colin Kazim-Richards, who spent time on loan at Ewood in the 2012-13 season, with his goal away to Arsenal the memorable moment of the Turkish forward’s time in Lancashire.

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The match shall be a tough test for Rovers, who have struggled on the road in recent weeks, and they face a Derby side yet to taste defeat on home soil.

Rovers’ record at Pride Park is mixed at best, with two victories in the last six (last season’s aforementioned 4-0 victory alongside a well-remembered 2-1 victory in the 2016-17 relegation season).

Given the three successive away defeats, I’m expecting Tony Mowbray to take a ‘do not lose’ mentality, although a back five formation is more than likely off the cards given Rovers’ injury worries.

Enjoy the match. If you are attending, I wish you a safe journey.

Predicted XI: Kaminski, Nyambe, Lenihan, van Hecke, Edun, Travis, Rothwell, Buckley, Gallagher, Dolan, Brereton Diaz

Prediction: Derby County 1-1 Rovers

Check out our video previewing Rovers’ match at Derby County: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUCu6zanoOI

We also released our chat with Jason from the ‘Rams Review Podcast’, where we discuss the Rams’ season so far, Lawrence, Kazim-Richards and much more about the hosts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6Y2mfhvao0

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