Derby County return from the international break looking to extend their current good form and move towards the Championship’s playoff positions.
New manager Phillip Cocu had a difficult opening period as Rams boss.
A five-game unbeaten run, however, has lifted spirits around Pride Park and the return of some key players to the starting XI has seen Derby gain some momentum.
Here is how we predict the following three games to go:
Charlton Athletic (A):
Charlton Athletic have exceeded expectations so far this season. The Addicks sit in tenth spot in the Championship, winning five of their opening 11 games.
Lee Bowyer’s side have beaten Leeds United and taken points off Nottingham Forest and Fulham. However, they head into the game having lost three of their past five games.
Charlton have a weakness at set-pieces which has been Derby’s Achilles heel this season. Without that threat, the Rams can be confident of getting a result.
Key players Krystian Bielik and Jayden Bogle, however, will face a late fitness test.
Prediction: Charlton Athletic 1-1 Derby County
Wigan Athletic (H):
Wigan Athletic have the worst away record in the Championship. The Latics have picked up just one point from six on the road, losing the other five and scoring just three goals.
Derby’s home form has picked up recently. Wins over Birmingham City and Luton Town followed 1-1 draws against West Bromwich Albion and Cardiff City.
Manager Phillip Cocu is starting to feel at home at Pride Park. It’s a game Derby should win, but like the Luton clash, the Rams will likely have to work hard for the three points.
Prediction: Derby County 2-0 Wigan Athletic
Hull City (A):
Hull City away completes the three-game week. And, it could be a booster crowd at the KCOM Stadium with the Tigers offering half-price tickets in a bid to tempt back supporters.
Derby’s record against Hull was excellent last season. They won all three games against Hull, including a 4-0 thrashing at the KCOM Stadium in the Carabao Cup.
Rams striker Chris Martin will have extra incentive to do well following a rather subdued loan spell at Hull last term. He has three goals in his last four games.
It will be tough, but Hull have shown frailties this season. They sit in 16th position under new manager Grant McCann and Derby will seek all three points from the off.
Prediction: Hull City 1-2 Derby County
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