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OPPOSITION VIEW: DERBY COUNTY

19 December 2014

Essential reading on this weekend's opponents

DERBY COUNTY

Nickname: The Rams
Manager: Steve McClaren
2013/14: 3rd
Ground: iPro Stadium
Fastest road route from Carrow Road: 172 miles (3 hours 13 minutes)

THE LOWDOWN
Derby surrendered their lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship as they fell to a 2-0 defeat away to promotion rivals Middlesbrough last weekend. 

Previously the Rams had won four of their most recent five league matches, including an emphatic 5-0 victory over Wolves in early November as they look for their first return to the top flight since being relegated in 2008. 

Following their defeat at the Riverside Stadium, Derby will be keen to return to the familiar surroundings of the iPro Stadium where they have lost just once - to Wigan - so far in the league this season.


They were in Capital One Cup action on home turf in midweek, putting in a valiant display against Premier League leaders Chelsea, eventually going down 3-1 in the quarter-final.

Norwich lead the head-to-head record between the two teams with 27 wins to County’s 18. City won 3-2 at Carrow Road when they last met in April 2011, with Simeon Jackson completing his hat-trick in the last minute to leave the hosts on track for promotion to the Premier League.

Two former Canaries are in Derby's squad: Chris Martin (2006-13) and Zak Whitbread (2010-12).

THE BOSS
Steve McClaren replaced Nigel Clough as Derby County Head Coach in September 2013.

A former assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, McClaren managed England between August 2006 and December 2007 but was sacked after his failure to lead the team the 2008 European Championship.

Following a playing career with Hull City, Derby, Bristol City and Oxford United, he started on his managerial pathway at Middlesbrough after leaving United in 2001.


His five years on Teesside were largely successful, establishing 'Boro as a Premier League force while guiding them to League Cup (winners) and UEFA Cup (runners-up) finals.

McClaren rebuilt his reputation with FC Twente in the Netherlands after his stint with England, guiding the Eredivisie side to their first top flight title in May 2010.

He then left to take over at German outfit Wolfsburg, but was sacked midway through his first season before further disappointing spells at Nottingham Forest and FC Twente once more.

The 53-year-old guided Derby to the Championship Play-Off final in his first year in charge, where they lost 1-0 to Queens Park Rangers.

THE SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Lee Grant, Kelle Roos, Jonathan Mitchell.

Defenders: Cyrus Christie, Craig Forsyth, Jake Buxton, Richard Keogh (c), Lee Naylor, Zak Whitbread, Shaun Barker, Jamie Hanson, Ivan Calero, Farrend Rawson, Ryan Shotton.

Midfielders: Craig Bryson, Simon Dawkins, Jeff Hendrick, Jamie Ward, John Eustace, Paul Coutts, Will Hughes, Alban Bunjaku, Alefe Santos, Omar Mascarell, George Thorne.

Forwards: Chris Martin, Johnny Russell, Kwame Thomas, Leon Best, Jordan Ibe.

NEXT AT CARROW ROAD
Millwall, Boxing Day

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