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Dec 11, 2021 at 3pm UK
DerbyDerby County
Plange (51')
Jozwiak (54'), Lawrence (75')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Carey (42'), Anderson (54')

Preview: Derby County vs. Blackpool - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Derby County vs. Blackpool - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Derby County and Blackpool, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Derby County host Blackpool in the Championship on Saturday afternoon with both clubs looking to arrest poor runs of form.

The Rams are bottom of the table and 20 points adrift of safety due to their points deductions, while the Tangerines are 15th and stranded in mid-table.

Match preview

Relegation is almost a certainty for Derby this season after they were docked 21 points, but they would be struggling even if that penalty was taken out of the equation.

The Rams have won just one of their last 11 matches – remarkably against promotion contenders Bournemouth – and are the second-lowest scorers in the Championship with just 17 goals to their name.

Wayne Rooney's side head into Saturday's fixture having suffered back-to-back defeats for only the second time this season. Last weekend's 1-0 loss to Bristol City followed a 2-1 setback at home to Queens Park Rangers.

However, three of their four wins this season have come on home turf so Rooney will hope that the Pride Park crowd can rally behind his team.

Meanwhile, only the Championship's current top three have conceded fewer goals than Derby, who have won seven of their last eight matches against Blackpool.

The Tangerines are also on a run of back-to-back defeats – for the first time since August – but have not lost three games in a row since October 2020.

That shows the fantastic work that Neil Critchley has done at Bloomfield Road, as after gaining promotion from League One via the playoffs last season, the club are now stable in the second tier.

However, they are currently going through a difficult patch and are winless in their last six matches, scoring just twice in that time; only four Championship sides have netted fewer than Blackpool throughout the season.

The Tangerines were comfortably beaten 3-0 at home by Luton Town last weekend, but Critchley suggested that his side were better than that scoreline suggests.

With a clash against 22nd-placed Peterborough United to follow their trip to Pride Park, the Lancashire outfit will hope to rediscover their form over the next week.

Derby County Championship form:
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L

Blackpool Championship form:
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L

Team News

Nineteen-year-old striker Luke Plange made his Derby debut as a substitute last weekend and is now pushing for a start.

Fellow frontman Sam Baldock suffered a hamstring problem against Bournemouth three weeks ago, but is close to being available again.

Lee Buchanan's return from a knee injury is slightly further away, while Jack Stretton is back training following his knee injury.

Blackpool striker Gary Madine missed the defeat to Luton with a groin issue, but Neil Critchley hopes to have him available again for the trip to Pride Park.

After conceding three goals against the Hatters, there could be a shakeup in the defence, opening the door for former Derby captain Richard Keogh to come into the side.

Goalkeeper Chris Maxwell made his return from a two-month long injury last weekend and should keep his place between the sticks ahead of Daniel Grimshaw.

Derby County possible starting lineup:
Allsop; Byrne, Jagielka, Davies, Forsyth; Bird, Shinnie, Knight; Ebosele, Kazim-Richards, Lawrence

Blackpool possible starting lineup:
Maxwell; Sterling, Ekpiteta, Keogh, Husband; Bowler, Dougall, Wintle, Anderson; Yates, Lavery

We say: Derby County 1-0 Blackpool

Both sides will view this game as the perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways, but we think that it will be Derby who will narrowly come out on top in a gritty affair. With the two clubs among the lowest scorers in the Championship, the match may be short of entertainment.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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22Peterborough UnitedPeterborough2354142044-2419
24Derby CountyDerby2251071821-34
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