Leeds United vs Derby County

EFL Championship. Kick-off: 7.45pm, Friday 11th January. Live on Sky Sports Football/Sky Sports Main Event.

THIS is a clash that stirs memories of Brian Clough v Don Revie in the days when Derby and Leeds were the two finest sides in England.

And while this latest contest takes place in the Championship, the winner will take a huge step back towards claiming their rightful place in the top flight.

Much has changed since the 1970s and even Clough, the arch critic of Revie's Leeds side, would find little to quibble with the Elland Road team's style of play now Marcelo Bielsa is calling the shots.

The Argentinian has Leeds United playing his trademark beautiful game and fans are now dreaming of returning to the top flight for the first time since 2004 as they lead the Championship.

Derby County's exile hasn't been quite as long, with the Rams enjoying one ill-fated season in the Premier League from 2007-2008, but there's a sense they might be on the up as well under Frank Lampard.

If the former Chelsea star leads them to promotion in his first season as boss it would be quite an achievement but it's more likely to come from the play-offs instead of an automatic place.

They sit sixth, in the last play-off slot, and trail Leeds by eight points so defeat in this clash would open up quite a gap between the clubs.

And the bookies can't see the Rams winning at Elland Road, making them 17/5 outsiders while Leeds are just 3/4 and the draw 27/10 at 888 Sport.

The FA Cup brought different fortunes for these sides, with Leeds bowing out to QPR while Derby came from 2-0 down to claim an excellent 2-2 draw with Premier League Southampton.

But Bielsa made wholesale changes for the trip to Loftus Road and there's a sense the early exit could help their promotion push while Derby now have a replay crammed into their already heavy schedule.

Lampard played a strong side against Southampton so his players will be less refreshed but they will be high in spirit and confidence after a superb comeback.

The Cup loss made it three defeats in a row after defeats to Hull and Nottingham Forest in the league so Bielsa's side will be desperate to bounce back.

They claimed seven wins in a row before their recent slump and I fancy them to get back on track. Double it with both teams to score at 12/5 with 888 Sport as that has been the outcome in the last five Derby matches.

Both teams have been involved in some thrillers recently, with a couple of 3-2 wins, a 4-2 defeat and a 4-3 cracker. So it could pay to back over 3.5 goals which is 37/20 with 888 Sport.

Leeds have a few key players out, with Kalvin Phillips suspended, striker Patrick Bamford injured and Pablo Hernandez the latest fitness doubt. Defender Liam Cooper could return but left-back Barry Douglas is out.

Some big hitters will return after sitting out the Cup tie and I like the look of Kemar Roofe for either first scorer (19/5) or anytime scorer (5/4) with 888 Sport.

Derby are sweating on the fitness of star man Harry Wilson, who picked up an injury in the draw with Middlesbrough and missed the FA Cup tie. If the Liverpool loanee, who has scored 10 games this season, sits it out again he will be a big loss.

Jack Marriot looks their best bet for a goal if Wilson doesn't make it and the striker is 13/2 to net first and 11/5 for anytime scorer with 888 Sport.

There isn't as much edge to these games as in the days of Clough and Revie but over 4.5 cards still looks a decent price at 43/20 with 888 Sport

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6 Comments
  1. kabed 4 months ago

    Hernandez looks like he will miss the match too.
    Derby DNB for me.

    • KevinMac 4 months ago

      Thanks for pointing that out. Will give the copy a little tweak

  2. kyle b 4 months ago

    Was that price right on cards when you posted the preview, only 57/50 now. Excellent early take if correct!

    • KevinMac 4 months ago

      It was at the time of writing. I suspect spy gate cranked up the tension and led to the odds dropping

    • kyle b 4 months ago

      95th min winner, never in doubt 😎 Nice one mate 👍

    • KevinMac 4 months ago

      Made me sweat for that one. Looked a cert at half-time as well

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