When form isn’t great, the last thing you need is to be heading to the home of one of the best teams in the division. That’s the challenge facing Sheffield Wednesday as they make the short journey to Derby this weekend.
Derby: Grant; Christie or Shotton, Buxton, Keogh, Forsyth; Mascarell; Hughes, Hendrick or Bryson; Ince, Ward or Dawkins, Bent.
Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood; Palmer, Lees, Zayatte, Mattock; Lee, McGugan, Hutchinson or Semedo; Maguire, Helan; Keane.
Wednesday have a lousy recent record against Derby, having failed to win any of the last 13 meetings between the two sides. Their last victory over the Rams came in 2006 thanks to strikes by Marcus Tudgay and Leon Best. It finished goalless in the corresponding fixture earlier this season.
ONE TO WATCH
It was just over four years ago Aston Villa forked out £18million for Darren Bent. The ex-England striker is rebuild his reputation on loan at Derby County, hitting six goals in seven Rams appearances. Bent, on loan at Derby for the remainder of the 2014-15 campaign, will continue to spearhead the attack in the absence of injured forward Chris Martin.
MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Darren Bond: The Lancashire official has been on the league list since 2011. Bond has taken charge of 28 matches this season, dishing out 78 bookings and three red cards. His most recent outing was Sheffield United’s 2-1 triumph at Notts County in midweek. You have to go back to September for the last time Bond officiated an Owls match; their 1-1 draw at home to Ipswich Town. He cautioned Joe Mattock and Chris Maguire.
BETTING (Sky Bet)
Derby 8/13 Draw 14/5 Sheffield Wednesday 9/2
WORTH A PUNT?
Sheffield Wednesday are 4/1 to keep a clean sheet