The Rams host Fleetwood Town on Saturday at the Pride Park stadium in a game which looks set to see the hosts dominate the proceedings. However last season, the Cods ran away with an impressive 2-0 victory and they will be hoping to do the same this time around.
Paul Wayne will not be too pleased with the way his side have started the new campaign and in particular their form at Pride Park. Derby have already played at home twice this season and both games have ended in a 2-1 defeat, despite dominating the opponent. This signals towards poor defending in transition, as the Rams often have the most possession. The most recent 2-1 defeat to Oxford United saw the home side accumulate 15 corners and miss three big chances, which also shows they have struggled to make the most out of attacking scenarios.
The boss will have to ensure that his side learn from their mistakes, especially their defensive complacency, otherwise they will be caught out again this weekend. On the flip side, Derby have also shown that they do the ability to score goals when they beat Burton Albion 3-0, but then again, they weren’t clinical in front of goal. Luckily for Derby, they have Conor Hourihane in midfield who will constantly supply the attackers with chances due to his brilliant playmaking skill, but if the captain does have a poor performance, you have to worry where the creativity will come from.
Fleetwood are yet to win a game this season and they will be hoping to register their first three points against Derby on Saturday. The Cods started the campaign with a 1-1 draw away to Carlisle United, in an end to end game which saw both teams squander big chances. Fleetwood’s lack of clinical edge continued to haunt them in the next two fixtures also, where they were defeated 2-0 at home versus Cambridge United and 3-1 away to high-flying, ten men, Bolton Wanderers.
Creating chances hasn’t been a problem for Fleetwood unlike the teams which currently sit around them in the table, which is a huge positive as overtime those missed chances should turn into goals. Young forward Promise Omochere has unfortunately missed the joint most big chances so far in League One this season, but it suggests that he continues to find himself in goal scoring positions which shows character and poacher instincts. If Omochere can improve his finishing then both Fleetwood and himself will benefit massively.
Derby are in desperate need of a home victory, not just for themselves, but for the fans also. This pressure usually makes or breaks individuals, but the Rams squad has enough quality to use the pressure as fuel to succeed. Fleetwood will be hard to beat but the home advantage may be the decider.
The final prediction is Derby County 2-1 Fleetwood Town.