Two promotion hopefuls Derby County and Birmingham City will lock horns with each other on Tuesday in the Championship. Steve McClaren’s side have the opportunity to create a club-record if they manage to keep a clean sheet in this game. They will have seven straight shutouts if they can manage to keep away Zola’s side from scoring.
The two teams are closely placed in the League table. Derby are seventh, just one spot behind the final playoff spot while the visitors are eighth. Although after the Boxing Day the equation could be different. Derby are now just one point away from the final playoff spot while Birmingham are 3 points away from it. In the past few seasons, Derby have been a regular in playoffs but always had to deal with heartbreaks. McClaren will be keen to put an end to the fans’ frustration this time out.
Derby have a poor record against Birmingham having won just once in their last seven league games against them (D4 L2). Steven McClaren has done a wonderful job after taking from Nigel Pearson following his horrendous start to the season and will be desperate to keep up the good work. Here is the predicted Derby County lineup against Birmingham City.
Experienced custodian Scott Carson will keep his place under the bar and will be looking to keep his seventh clean sheet in a row. The English international has kept 12 clean sheets this campaign from 22 games which are certainly impressive stats and he will be looking to keep up his good work.
Experienced and versatile defender Chris Baird will start at right-back. We expect Alex Pearce and Richard Keogh to start at the heart of the defence. Marcus Olsson will keep his place as left-back.
Bradley Johnson has been impressive this season in a defensive midfield role and is likely to keep his place against Birmingham City. Will Hughes is likely to start this game ahead of Craig Bryson. Jacob Butterfield is the prime creative player of the Derby County side and his pace in the middle of the park is more or less certain.
Tom Ince has been excellent attacking wise this season and will be keen to do the damage to Birmingham City from the right flank. Johnny Russell should keep his place on the left. Darren Bent will keep his place up front and will be keen to impress.
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