2017-18 club-by-club guide: Derby County

NEWSATDEN looks at all of Millwall’s 23 opponents ahead of the 2017-18 Championship season.

Next up, Lucas Ball casts an eye over Derby County.

Nickname: The Rams

Manager: Gary Rowett

Stadium: Pride Park (33,600)

Club website: www.dcfc.co.uk

Nearest train station: Derby

Postcode: DE24 8XL

Title odds (Sky Bet): 12/1

Last meeting: Championship – Millwall 3-3 Derby County April, 25 2015

Last season:

Position: 9th in Sky Bet Championship

Goals for: 54

Goals against: 50

Top league scorer: Tom Ince (14)

2017/18 transfers:

Ins: Andre Wisdom (£1.9mil), Curtis Davies (free)

Outs: Will Hughes (£8mil), Tom Ince (£8mil), Cyrus Christie (£2.5mil) Abdoul Camara (free), Alefe Santos (free)

Former Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett could finally be the man to make Derby real promotion contenders. In recent years, the Rams have been in the top six for the majority of the season, but then slipped up in the final few games.

While the departures of Tom Ince to Huddersfield, Will Hughes to Watford and Cyrus Christie to Middlesbrough will all be detrimental to the side with the trio being among their most consistent performers in the last couple of seasons, Rowett has time to replace them. Andre Wisdom has already arrived from Liverpool for just under £2million to replace Republic of Ireland international Christie.

Hughes stayed with Derby for as long as he could to gain experience and try to help them to promotion, but after falling short last season he decided that it was the right time to move to the Premier League.

Ince’s transfer also yielded a significant cash boost and Rowett must now replace one of the best wide players in the Championship for the last few seasons.

Rowett convinced former Aston Villa centre-back Curtis Davies, 32, to join the Rams from relegated Hull, and his defensive knowhow will be important as Rowett builds a squad with a mix of Premier League and Championship experience to try to mount a proper push for promotion.

Can this finally be the season that Derby return to the top table?

Derby vs. Millwall (December 23)

Millwall vs. Derby (January 27)

Lee Gregory scored a hat-trick but Millwall blew a two-goal lead the last time the clubs met. Three points would have lifted Neil Harris’ Lions out of the Championship relegation zone with a game to go, but Rotherham’s win three days later consigned Millwall to relegation.

Graphic: @ShedCreative