Derby County vs Leeds United: Match preview and predicted line-ups
Steve McClaren began his first spell in charge as manager of Derby County with a 2-1 home win over Leeds United, and he’ll be hoping to replicate that this weekend in the same fixture for his first game of his second spell as boss of the Rams. Gary Monk will be in the opposite dugout hoping to six wins from their last seven games after a poor start to the campaign in a managerial match up from the Premier League campaign last season when Swansea City faced Newcastle United, only for both bosses to be sacked before the end of the season.
Derby County have won just once since August, with an away victory over Cardiff City, but Chris Powell did seem to turn things around as that was followed up with what was very nearly an away win over Reading before conceding a late, late equaliser. The Rams are still searching for their first home win of the season and have only score more than one goal in the same game once, in that victory in Wales, but even then with one goal coming from the penalty spot and with the Bluebirds down to ten men. McClaren certainly has work to do.
Monk’s team are in superb form, with a narrow defeat to Bristol City their only points dropped in the last month as Leeds continue to push on into the top half of the Championship table. After that defeat there was a convincing victory over Barnsley in a Yorkshire derby having previously beaten the likes of Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday. To date, the Whites have had no problems against struggling teams, with the exception of defeat to Nottingham Forest in August. After a poor start, Monk has turned things around and will want to maintain his current run of form.
Derby County predicted starting XI Leeds United predicted starting XI
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It’s hard to predict how Steve McClaren will line up on his first game back at Pride Park in his second spell at the club, but he is expected to largely follow the recommendations of assistant manager and caretaker manager Chris Powell. That said, he is likely to opt for the 4-3-3 formation that he preferred in his first spell in charge.
Stuart Dallas’ injury is likely to be the only change for Leeds after missing out on Northern Ireland’s defeat to Germany in midweek. That should give Kemar Roofe an opportunity on the left wing, though he may face competition from Alex Mowatt, leaving Gary Monk with a decision to make.
Injuries and Suspensions
There are doubts over Abdoul Camara and Marcus Olsson as they manage hamstring and muscle injuries which could see them not risked this weekend in a fixture which comes just too soon for the pair. George Thorne continues to be the only long term injury for the Rams with a broken leg keeping him out of action for another month at least.
Liam Bridcutt continues to be the main absence for Leeds with his broken foot expected to keep him out for a further six weeks, but Monk will have a new injury concern to contend with after Stuart Dallas missed out on Northern Ireland’s midweek defeat to Germany due to a calf injury which could see him miss Saturday’s fixture. Pablo Hernandez should be fit after nursing a hamstring strain over the international break and returning to fitness.
It will certainly be interesting to see how Steve McClaren’s arrival impacts the display of Derby County on Saturday and that will likely dictate the final score. Leeds are in great form but the international break may have come at just the wrong time and disrupted their momentum, with Pride Park never an easy place to go. Our prediction is a draw.
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