Derby County welcome Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City to Pride Park in what’s expected to be one of the more entertaining games in the early Championship season.
Especially since both teams come into the game in contrasting form – a prognosis that our Derby vs Cardiff predictions expect to result in a treat of a clash.
Yet the hosts can’t afford to let the formalities get in the way of their goal: to rise from the slumps they find themselves in. Already there are signs to suggest that last season’s promotion charge won’t be attainable.
Which is why we’re tipping a goal-fest of a draw to play out this Friday evening.
Phillip Cocu’s men need the points, Cardiff have a woeful record on the road. Both teams will come away satisfied from the weekend-opener with a point for their troubles.
Where this leaves them at the end of the season is anyone’s guess. You can read ours in our 2019/20 Championship season preview.
So, without further ado…
Derby vs Cardiff Predictions
Cardiff City will be hedging their bets coming into this game. For all their poor away form, they face a side who aren’t doing so hot themselves: Derby County.
Indeed, Cocu’s men have failed to win four league fixtures now, with the opening day victory over the league’s basement team – Huddersfield – their only three points of the campaign. While the result looked great at the time, it doesn’t look quite so impressive now, given that the Toons are yet to claim a win this season.
But it was last weekend’s 3-0 whitewash at the hands of Brentford that really exposed the dire situation in which Cocu and his men find themselves in.
County were blown away by an excellent first-half show from the Bees, featuring an Ollie Watkins brace, and a scintillating goal from Bryan Mbuembo. More concerning than their defensive frailties was the lack of attacking initiative. The Rams did not register a single shot on target and were unable to breach the Brentford defence, despite having chances to do so.
Followed up by a harrowing 3-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup and it’s clear that the post-Lampard period has not been kind to the Rams. Without key players such as Mason Mount, and without the man who orchestrated their near-return to the Premier League, Derby have capitulated.
Under Cocu – a manager who barely lasted four months at his previous job at Fenerbahce with a 20% win-rate – the same energy and verve that seemed to seep from Pride Park with Lampard at the helm has disappeared.
The only possible positive that works in Derby’s favour ahead of their weekend clash is Cardiff’s away record. Having amassed eight points from a possible 16, both victories for the Bluebirds came at home. This hardly bodes well for the Friday night venture to Pride Park against the Rams, which is why betting on the spoils of war to be shared seems a more tempting wager than simply writing Derby off.
Neil Warnock’s men have recorded just one point from nine possible on their travels. Pair this with the knowledge that Cardiff have only scored twice away from home, and concede two per game, and there is a strong chance of Derby making it onto the score-sheet.
Derby vs Cardiff Head To Head
The last five results between this Friday’s opponents have been unpredictable.
From a comfortable 2-1 win for then, Derby County manager Frank Lampard, during last year’s clash, to a goalless stalemate in the same year the Rams lost 4-3 to the Bluebirds, there’s very little to forecast ahead of time how this game will pan out.
Fortunately, our Derby vs Cardiff predictions can provide more insight based on the form of both teams.
Given that Warnock’s men have a woeful away record, an amalgamation of last year’s draw and the seven-goal thriller may be a more realistic projection. A 2-2 draw is pretty apt in that sense.
Derby Team News
Cocu’s squad plans will be hampered by the absence of Craig Forsyth, who has joined Ikechi Anya and Jayden Bogle on the injury list.
The Derby County left-back has been clinical for the Rams in the opening stages of the season. Where his team have underperformed, Forsyth has been a breath of fresh air.
Combine this with the link-up play the 30-year-old possesses with Martyn Waghorn, and our Derby vs Cardiff predictions forecast this affecting Cocu’s attacking options up front.
Yes, Waghorn is more than capable to score on his own. The forward has three goals six matches this season, scoring 50& of Derby’s goals. But as with all things on the front foot, good service is key.
Cardiff Team News
Warnock will be without Daniel Ward, who is the most recent addition to the injury list. The 27-year-old is still recovering from an Achilles tendon issue and is being closely monitored day by day. Ward joins Marlon Pack, Neil Etheridge, and Jazz Richards on the sidelines.
Aside from these absences, the Bluebirds will be able to field a strong starting XI. The likes of Lee Tomlin and Josh Murphy – both players who come into this game in form – are expected to keep their place in the team.
Derby vs Cardiff Betting Tips
The betting tipsters are very much in agreement with our Derby vs Cardiff predictions.
Indeed, the markets have tipped the Rams at 7/5 for a chance of victory. Meanwhile, their opponents are not far behind, though they weigh in as 7/4 underdogs in our Derby vs Cardiff match bets.
With the chances of a draw priced up at 47/20, both teams sharing the spoils of war may ultimately be the fairest result.