Derby v Leeds Wednesday 20th February, 19:45 Live on Sky Sports
Derby aim to bounce back
Derby return to Championship action on Wednesday night after enjoying a weekend off league action. The Rams are looking to bounce back following a 2-0 reverse at Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough eight days ago.
That first league defeat since November saw Gary Rowett's men slide out of the automatic promotion places. County made a slow start and despite dominating possession, were punished for a lack of composure in front of goal, testing the goalkeeper on only four occasions from their 18 attempts.
Cameron Jerome, Tom Lawrence, Kasey Palmer and Andre Wisdom are all now pushing for starts but Sam Winnall remains sidelined, while Curtis Davies and George Thorne are both rated doubtful.
Leeds still winless in 2018
Paul Heckingbottom is hoping Leeds' comeback from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw against Bristol City in his first home game as manager will be the kickstart his reign requires. United twice failed to deal with long throw-ins and were 2-0 down in the first 16 minutes at Elland Road.
But Pierre-Michel Lasogga's ninth goal of the season changed the complexion of the contest before Kemar Roofe's far-post finish rescued a point for the hosts. Lasogga even came close to snatching a memorable victory in the very final moments as Leeds poured forward in search of a dramatic late winner.
Despite the morale-boosting fightback, the Whites are still without a victory in 2018 and remain eight points adrift of the play-off spots. But Samuel Saiz, Gaetano Berardi andLiam Cooper all return from suspension while Kalvin Phillips and Ezgjan Alioski are pushing for recalls.
Rams understandable firm favourites
Derby have triumphed in eight of their past nine home encounters with Leeds and the automatic promotion-chasers are have been chalked up as 1.89 favourites to enhance that record here on Wednesday evening. The Rams boast a W12-D5-L3 record at Pride Parkunder Gary Rowett's tutorship.
County have claimed top honours whilst silencing their opposition in 10 of those 12 victories and with only two goals shipped in almost 12 hours of football on home soil, a repeat certainly appeals at [2.58] quotes. Indeed, only Sheffield United are facing fewer on-target attempts on average than Derby this term.
Although Leeds5.00 valiant fightback against Bristol City will have raised spirits, the Whites are now winless in eight (W0-D3-L5) since Boxing Day and have been beaten in three of their past four road trips, firing blanks on three occasions.
Goals at a premium
Derby have delivered in the Under 2.5 Goals1.74 market in four of their most recent five outings, as well as 12/16 (75%) at Pride Park this season.
Considering the Rams have recorded nine shutouts in their past 13, and scored more than two goals in only three home fixtures, another low-scoring contest could be on the cards.
Although four of Leeds' last five have paid-out for Over 2.5 Goals 2.20 backers - three crossing the Over 3.5 Goals whitewash - three of their most recent four games as guests have produced no more than a solitary strike.
Back Derby to win ‘to nil’ @ 2.58 in Derby v Leeds