Derby County v Sheffield Wednesday: opposition view, star man, score prediction

Sheffield Wednesday travel to Pride Park to play Frank Lampard’s Derby County this weekend, so we spoke to Chris Watson of the Derby Telegraph to get the lowdon on Saturday’s opponents...

Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 10:50 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 10:53 am
Steve Bruce and Frank Lampard

What can Sheffield Wednesday expect from Derby?

The Rams have been struggling for form of late, though ended a run of four straight defeats on Tuesday night when they beat Wigan Athletic 2-1 at Pride Park Stadium.

Steve Bruce and Frank Lampard

Sign up to our Sheffield Wednesday newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

They looked edgy and low on confidence at times against Wigan - understandable after their 4-0 drubbing at Aston Villa - but showed good character to come from behind and claim a much-needed win.

Frank Lampard's men will be hoping to build on that against Wednesday - in what is the second of four consecutive home matches - and rediscover some of the fluency that they found earlier in the season.

Lampard likes his side to have plenty of possession, passing out from the back and moving the ball quickly. However, it was more a case of "back to basics" against Wigan as they battled to halt their slide, and at this stage of the season, it is becoming all about getting results by any means.

Who is Derby's star man?

You would have to say Harry Wilson, the Wales international midfielder on a season-long loan from Liverpool.

The 21-year-old has not quite hit the heights he did earlier in the season but remains the Rams' top scorer with 12 goals in all competitions.

He has often provided the creative spark for Derby this term and has scored some spectacular free kicks.

Initially, he was used on the left wing but has featured more as a central midfielder of late - and has looked most effective in that position.

Are there any key absences in the Derby team?

The Rams have a few injury problems at the moment. They have been without Tom Lawrence (ankle), Mason Mount (hamstring) and Craig Bryson (foot) in recent weeks, while January loan signing, Andy King (ankle), is out for the season, along with Craig Forsyth (knee) and Curtis Davies (Achilles).

Marcus Olsson is working his way back from a serious knee injury and may not figure before the end of the campaign.

New signing Efe Ambrose is building up his match fitness as he bids to make the squad for the first time since joining the club on a free transfer.

One player to watch in the Derby squad

Aside from Wilson, it is worth keeping an eye out for Mason Bennett, who scored a sensational goal against Wigan.

The 22-year-old forward, full of pace and energy, has had rotten luck with injuries since becoming Derby's youngest ever first-team player at the age of 15 - but will be hoping he can start to fulfil his potential now.

Frank Lampard is a fan, and his midweek heroics might have just earned him a start against the Owls.

Score prediction

Wednesday have clearly been tough to beat since Steve Bruce's arrival as manager, while Derby will have been lifted by their victory on Tuesday. So, I'll go for an honourable draw - 1-1.