Derby and Cardiff to play out a tight affair
Derby will have taken stock following the international break after a poor start to the season. Will they be able to return to winning ways for the visit of Cardiff City? Have a read of our preview here:
Teething problems for Phillip Cocu
Phillip Cocu has had a difficult start to life at Derby. The Rams have not won since the opening day of the season and are coming off the back of a hiding in West London.
There was always going to be a period of transition and it is still very early in the season but Derby fans will already be looking at the four-point gap between themselves and sixth place Fulham and hope it doesn’t get any bigger.
The numbers suggest the problem lies with them not being able to create enough quality goal-scoring chances. They rank in the bottom half of the table when looking at shots per game but they have a good pass completion rate.
Derby will have a lot of the ball but Cardiff don’t mind that. It will be up to Phillip Cocu’s side to break down their opponents and really ask questions or the Rams boss could face some more difficult ones of his own come full time.
Bluebirds don’t travel well
Cardiff are yet to win on the road this season with both their victories in the Championship coming at home. This will be something Neal Warnock looks to rectify when he takes his side to Pride Park on Friday.
As you’d expect there is a real aerial threat to the Cardiff side this season and they rank second behind only Millwall when it comes to aerial battles won while Derby sit in the bottom three in the same metric so expect set-pieces to be a real threat from the away side.
Goals have not been free-flowing for Cardiff with only seven scored so far but they are a robust side that can be very successful at this level.
Derby v Cardiff betting tip
Derby have really struggled this season but have always been in games. It is hard to see them hurting Cardiff who will sit deep and absorb the pressure while allowing Derby the ball in deep areas. With neither side creating many chances and both finding goals hard to come by, backing this one to end with under 2.5 goals at even odds seems a reasonable shout here.