Derby County host Sheffield Wednesday this weekend in a crunch relegation showdown which will see at least one of them drop into League One at the final whistle.

The Rams are three points clear of Wednesday but with an inferior goal difference.

An Owls victory will relegate Derby, but anything other than a win for Darren Moore’s side will see the Yorkshire club drop into the third tier for the second time in the past decade.

Rotherham United, meanwhile, are two points behind Derby. The Millers would relegate both if they beat Cardiff City away and the Rams fail to pick up all three points.

Rotherham United v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images).

For the neutral, it’s a fascinating line up which may have plenty of twists and turns.

Derby head into the final game as statistically the club most likely to survive. However, a deeper dive into their run of form suggests they are instead up against it.

Wayne Rooney’s side have lost six games on the spin. Moreover, their fortunes are in wide contrast amid the absence of two players who make such a big difference.

Krystian Bielik only played 13 Championship games this season before his season-ending ACL injury. But Derby collected 21 of their 43 points during the Pole’s presence in the side.

 

Lee Gregory, on the other hand, arrived one day after Bielik’s injury as he joined Derby from Stoke City on deadline day in January on loan until the end of the season.

Gregory scored three and grabbed one assist in 11 appearances for the Rams.

Derby County v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

The 32-year-old wasn’t a prolific scorer, but his presence in the side gave Derby much more mobility in the final third while allowing Rooney to line up with two upfront.

Gregory was absent for Derby’s 1-0 defeats to Millwall and Stoke City, and since his injury during the 2-0 win over Luton Town, Rooney’s side have lost every game.

It’s alarming how Rooney has yet to pick up a point as Derby boss without those two players. That must change this weekend, otherwise the Owls will send them down.

Also see: Know your history: Derby’s top five record transfer buys, including £5m ace set to leave for free

Also see: 13-goal ace Derby want to sign for free could now play key role in Rams’ survival bid

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