Behind Enemy Lines: Derby County

DERBY go into this fixture in good form, with nine wins from their last 12 games and five clean sheets in their last six.

This run has seen them move up to fourth in the Championship table, a position which they will look to improve on as they have had a habit of poor endings in recent seasons.

Millwall, in good spirits too after an excellent start to December, currently sit 17th. It could easily be much higher, but they will go to Pride Park full of hope, again aiming for their first away victory of the campaign. Only Wolves have a better defensive record away from home, so we could be set for a low-scoring affair.

Lucas Ball spoke to Derby fan and podcast contributor Tom Martin ahead of Saturday’s game.

Twitter: @TomDCFC87 (@SteveBloomerPod)

Why do you support Derby?

I support Derby because my old man does and took me to my first game at the Baseball Ground in 1992.

What’s your favourite season following the Rams?

The best season was 2013-14 in recent memory. The football was great, though Millwall beat us. It was written in the stars for us to go up and then Bobby Zamora happened (in the play-off final). Actual best season was 1998-99 when Derby finished eighth in the Premier League under Jim Smith.

What has this recent run been built on?

Organisation. Resilience. Opportunity. We’ve been on the back foot more than usual but keep teams out and punish their mistakes.

What do Derby need in January?

Full-backs for the future, especially a left-back. Wingers that are better than Johnny Russell and Andreas Weimann. Russell and Weimann are both hard-working, but lack consistent composure and quality in the final third.

Weimann has scored two in two but he doesn't think about what he is doing and can often give the ball away in good positions. An upgrade would see us definitely pushing on further

Who are your danger men?

Matej Vydra. Scores goals. Tom Lawrence. Creates things from nothing. Check his assist for our recent goal at Fulham. Too inconsistent though.

Vydra picks up pockets of space, playing in the 10 role. Gary Rowett describes him as the best in the Championship. Beware of him picking the ball up in space and David Nugent making the run to draw the defender away as he is capable of going alone or picking the slide-rule pass.

We all know how good a finisher Nuge is. See our two goals against Nottingham Forest as prime examples of this.

Which Millwall players could have an impact?

I always love watching Lee Gregory as he is all-action. Fred Onyedinma is a real raw talent and we would normally have to be wary of his pace, though he’s still out injured so that’s one less threat. Aiden O’Brien, so I’ve heard, has played well in the last couple of games.

What’s your predicted Derby formation and starting XI?



Baird/Wisdom Davies Keogh Forsyth

Huddlestone Ledley,

Weimann Vydra Lawrence


Finally, a score prediction?

Optimistic: 2-0. But knowing Millwall as I do (good friends who are fans and hence in regular attendance at The Den), I’ll go Derby 0-1 Millwall. COYR!

Graphic: @ShedCreative