When we looked ahead to the 2019-20 Championship season, it wasn’t the visitors we expected to challenge for the top six but our Derby County vs Preston predictions see North End aiming high.
Alex Neil’s team sit second, two points behind table-toppers Leeds United and ten points clear of 16th-place Derby County. The Promised Land of the Premier League is with tantalisingly close.
The same cannot be said for the Rams. Commendably, they stand by Phillip Cocu, hoping the imminent arrival of Wayne Rooney will bring a revival of their fortunes.
But that isn’t due to happen for six weeks yet and there is a lot of football to be played in the meantime.
Derby County, always the promotion-chasing bridesmaid, need desperately to find some consistency and there would be no better way than beating promotion-chasing Preston.
A tough trip for the Lilywhites and one where their lustre may dim.
Derby County vs Preston Predictions
If last season’s Wembley defeat brought grounds for optimism about 2019-20, Derby County’s long-suffering fans are being dealt an unwelcome dose of reality.
The international break came after an unwanted defeat in the derby match at Nottingham Forest, another loss on the road which undermines the Rams fast-improving home form.
Phillip Cocu’s men are unbeaten in six (W4, D2) with consecutive victories in their least four at Pride Park.
They were, however, games the Rams were expected to win, had to win. Earlier battles against promotion hopefuls didn’t go so well. Swansea, Bristol City and West Brom all left Derbyshire with points (D2, L1) as Cocu’s side struggled.
Have they improved? Yes, to a degree. Three consecutive clean sheets at home is not to be sniffed at but their record away from home is abysmal. One win on the opening weekend but nothing since (D2, L5).
One of those draws came at Elland Road, underlining the potential of the Derby side. Potential is something Preston are beginning to realise, challenging for the promotion places.
This isn’t new territory for one of England’s most famous clubs; the Lilywhites flattered to deceive before but this time, there’s a sense that things will be different.
Preston are unbeaten in four, winning the last three with one defeat in the last thirteen (W8, D4) league matches.
Most of their success so far is built on strong home form. On the road, North End don’t travel too well with just two victories this season, both by a 1 – 0 scoreline. The last came at Charlton at the start of this month and continued a spell of five away games where neither Preston nor their hosts scored more than once.
They will need to be at their best to defeat a Derby side which is unbeaten in 28 of their last 32 home games.
Top scorer Daniel Johnson has 8 goals and 4 assists but hasn’t scored since 26th October. He’ll be hoping to end his current goal drought but also end a run in which he has failed to score in any away game since the 3 – 2 defeat at Swansea in August.
Not that he is alone in being a reluctant traveller; no Preston player has scored more than one away goal this season. That ‘record’ needs to end if they are to take anything from this match.
Derby County vs Preston Head to Head
Despite bossing this fixture in recent meetings, Derby County trail in the head-to-head with 45 wins to Preston’s 49. Twenty-three games between the two ended in draws.
The Rams are unbeaten in the last 17 league matches against Preston (W9, D8). The visitors haven’t won at Derby since 2002 (D7, L10).
Preston failed to score in six of the last seven against Derby, home and away. None of these clashes saw over 2.5 goals and only once did Derby score more than one goal.
The last time Preston scored more than once was in a 5 – 3 defeat in 2010.
Derby County Team News
Phillip Cocu breathed a sigh of relief after Tom Lawrence returned to training following an illness which forced him to miss Wales recent triumphant internationals.
Matt Clarke is not so fortunate. He is yet to recover from a knee injury suffered in the 1 – 0 defeat at Nottingham Forest.
Tom Huddlestone is sidelined with a hamstring strain while Scott Malone misses out as he continues to recover from the knee injury he suffered against Middlesbrough.
Preston Team News
Preston boss Alex Neil welcomes back Ben Pearson from suspension and received significant boosts from other players as well.
Tom Clarke and Josh Harrop both returned to training during the international break and will be pushing for recalls.
It leaves Louis Moult as the only confirmed absence following his unfortunate ACL injury which he suffered during the 3 – 2 defeat to Swansea City in August.
Derby County vs Preston Betting Tips
Home advantage and history gives Derby County a better chance in Novibet’s matchday odds than a side sitting sixteenth in the table might expect. The Rams are 37/20 to win with Preston marginal favourites at 6/4; the draw is 9/4.
It’s no surprise given the two clubs recent history that the odds favour a low-scoring match; 81/100 for under 2.5 goals seems a relatively safe bet. Similarly, both teams to score at 18/25 is good protection for your overall wager. On that theme, Derby are Evens in the Draw No Bet market.
With Derby’s strength in the fixture and Preston’s low-scoring exploits, might the Rams force the Lilywhites to come from behind to get a result? Derby are a tempting 11/10 in the Halftime or Fulltime Result market.