I'VE made no secret of Derby's historic purple patch, it's as predictable as Sheldon Cooper's bowel movements.
After an abysmal game away to Rotherham we threw the kitchen sink at Blackburn midweek and somehow Derby failed to net but it was a high-tempo thrilling match, just short of goals.
We then took an early kick to the gentleman vegetables on 44 seconds at home to Brentford but Derby's history in that fixture of being unbeaten at home to them since 1939 is a stat we decided to push to at least 2019 – or 80 years if you're counting. Now that's what I call a monkey on your back. Three quick goals later before half-time and the scoreline stayed 3-1.
This gave us terrific confidence and an unchanged team to use as a yardstick against one Man United. We know how that ended. Another Nathan bet sunk in injury time to the tune of 14-1. But at least we're in the next round.
That win is massive for the club. I know it's the League Cup but we've now a proven yardstick on which we can push on.
Today's match at Bolton could well be a banana skin. The Derby team may well still be in the bar since Tuesday night but I doubt it. It should give us the confidence to push on and build. Bolton have had some early good results but of late their results have slipped.
They're not out of the title race but with so many good teams all clambering over one another to be in the mix for a top-six finish, there must be at least 10 Championship teams who are just that much better than Bolton.
They've struggled to cope since coming down from the top tier, they don't seem to be building a new era of players for the club and I'd be surprised if come May Bolton finish in the top half.
I looked at the stats last week but I did see five Derby wins and I think a 0-0.
We did the league double on them last season and it meant a third straight win on the bounce for the Rams against Bolton. Prior to that a 0-0 at their ground and another league double the previous season.
Derby goals for 15, Bolton 3 in the last six meetings. Bolton have scored three single goals against us, Derby have scored two twice, four twice and three once along with the 0-0.
With Derby's price dropping a little some money is moving on them. I'm not going daft here but I do sense a Derby victory.
- Derby (21-10, Betway)