Robins versus Rams: More even than it seems
With a play-off place hanging in the balance, Derby County travel to Ashton Gate on Sunday hoping to seal a place in at the end of season table with an eye on Premier League promotion.
Are the Robins bob-bob-bottling it?
Lee Johnson is a terrific coach, no questions about that but he will be hugely frustrated with his sides form since mid to late February.
City looked certain to finish in the top seven based on the form they had going into 2019. 13 games unbeaten would have had even the most ardent City cynic daring to dream just a little.
Perhaps that was a bit premature. Just three wins in the last 12 including a defeat at Sheffield Wednesday in the last game has seen Johnson’s side looking up at the play-off places again.
Thanks to that poor run, the upcoming game against the Rams now has a lot more riding on it that it really should. Neither side will be taking it lightly and it is sure to be a cracker.
Derby not good travellers
Frank Lampard’s first spell in management has been pretty good considering the challenges of running a side with big expectations and a limited amount to spend on personnel.
One area, though, that he will definitely be disappointed with is the Rams form on the road.
This season Derby County have won just six of their 21 fixtures away from home and making a case for them to pick up a seventh at Ashton Gate is pretty impossible.
The one thing you can say about Lampard’s side is that they are hard to beat. Just one defeat in their last nine Championship matches has seen them lift themselves into the top six and staying there will be partly decided by their trip to Bristol.
After this trip to Ashton Gate, Derby face Swansea on the road and then host the Baggies on the final day. Not an easy couple of games but certainly not insurmountable.
With City it is pretty similar. Tough tests at both Millwall, who are fighting for their lives, and Hull City look winnable on paper but in reality will be very difficult for Lee Johnson’s side.
Go into those games off the back of beating Derby and it will give the Robins massive confidence but that will be a tall order indeed.
Given that Derby County struggle on their travels and Bristol City are finding wins hard to come by this game could well finish level. With that in mind, backing this one to end in a draw at odds of 49/20 will get you good value for your buck