Football – England – Championship
Saturday 16th February 2013 – Kickoff: 1500hrs
The phrase ‘horses for courses’ couldn’t be more apt for this fixture which features Derby County, fresh from their midweek away defeat at Hull City playing host to Wolves who shared the points with Leeds United in an entertaining 2-2 draw at the weekend.
Despite Derby’s poor away form where they’ve won just once on their travels in their past ten matches, The Rams remain solid at their Pride Park ground where they’ve lost just once in their last eleven league matches which was a narrow 1-2 loss to second placed Hull City who happen to possess the joint-best away record with Cardiff City in the division.
This impressive sequence for Derby includes wins over Blackpool 4-1, Barnsley 2-0, Birmingham City 3-2, Leeds United 3-1, Middlesbrough 3-1 and hapless Huddersfield Town 3-0. What is immediately obvious is Derby’s ability to score goals this season which hasn’t always been the case and with attacking options including Ward (9 goals), Robinson (8 goals), Hendrick (5 goals, 3 assists) and Sammon (6 goals, 3 assists) along with the creativity of Coutts (8 assists), manager Nigel Clough is reaping the benefits of being able to field a settled side for the bulk of the season.
Stability is something that has been lacking at Wolves so far this season as they started the season under the guidance of Stale Solbakken but his recent sacking halfway through the season has brought a relatively inexperienced Dean Saunders to the helm and there appears to be no immediate change in Wolves’ fortunes.
A meagre three wins from their last twenty one league matches is an alarming statistic for Wolves fans and it’s no surprise they find themselves just above Barnsley in the relegation zone courtesy of a slightly better goal difference. Followers of the midlands club will be hoping that the Saunders curse doesn’t strike again at Molineux after the Welshman took his former club Doncaster Rovers down to League One when they got relegated in April last year.
Derby will be up for this one particularly being back at their familiar home surroundings, and with Wolves’ poor away form despite their ability to score goals, I fancy The Rams in this one and recommend giving the quarter ball as a bit of insurance. Derby to win 2-1.
Pick; Derby County AH-0.25 @ 1.71 Bet Victor