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Sep 18, 2021 at 3pm UK
DerbyDerby County
StokeStoke City
Bird (31'), Davies (34')
Shinnie (8'), Sibley (38')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Ince (58')
Sawyers (33'), Skiri Oestigaard (77'), Ince (89')

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

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

Following the news of their expected points deduction, Derby County will be looking to secure a much-needed victory at home against Stoke City in the Championship on Saturday afternoon.

The Potters, meanwhile, have made their best start to a league campaign since 2004-05, accumulating 14 points from their first seven games.

Match preview

Derby's challenging start to the new campaign is set to get much tougher in the coming weeks as the club announced on Wednesday night that they are in talks with the EFL regarding a potential nine-point deduction for breaching financial fair play rules.

The Rams, who currently sit 16th in the Championship with seven points from their first seven games, could see their points tally reduced to minus figures which would also see them plummet to the foot of the table.

No timescale has been put on the final decision at present and Wayne Rooney will be keen for his players to remain focussed on their next task in hand against Stoke this weekend.

Derby head into Saturday's game after securing a goalless draw away at West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday night. Rooney criticised West Brom's uncompromising style of football, but nevertheless was pleased to have picked up a point at the Hawthorns.

The Rams have a poor record in recent seasons against the Potters, having won only one of their last eight meetings against them, a 4-0 victory at Pride Park in January 2020.

Derby have also won just one of their last 14 Championship games, with each of their last four home fixtures ending in a draw. With an impeding points deduction on the horizon, a much-needed upturn in form is required for Rooney's men.

Stoke's 100% start at the bet365 Stadium came to an end on Wednesday night, when they played out a fiery 1-1 draw against Barnsley.

After Sam Surridge opened the scoring in the 17th minute, a stunning free kick from Cauley Woodrow drew the Tykes level seven minutes before the break. Mario Vrancic then had the chance to put the hosts back in front from the penalty spot, however his effort in first-half stoppage time was saved by Bradley Collins.

In the second half, Potters full-back Tommy Smith was shown a straight red card in the final five minutes for a lunge on Claudio Gomes, before first-team coaches Dean Holden and Rory Delap, as well as Barnsley assistant Joe Laumann, were sent to the stands following a mass touchline brawl in the dying seconds.

Michael O'Neill's men missed the chance to climb into the Championship's top two, and have instead slipped down to fifth place, though they are only two points behind league leaders Fulham.

Stoke now turn their attention to Saturday's trip to Pride Park, where they have failed to score in each of their last three league visits.

With four of their next five fixtures against teams currently in the bottom half of the table, the Potters will be confident of continuing their impressive start to the campaign.

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

Derby County form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D

Stoke City Championship form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D

Stoke City form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D

Team News

Derby striker Colin Kazim-Richards (Achilles) and midfielder Krystian Bielik (knee) remain ruled out with injuries, though the latter is hoping to return to training before the end of this month.

Rams trio Tom Lawrence, Max Bird and Ravel Morrison, who all started on the bench against West Brom, will be hoping they can force their way back into the first XI.

Rooney decided to switch to a 5-3-2 formation against the Baggies in midweek, however he may revert back to a 4-3-3 system, which could see Lawrence join Sam Baldock and Kamil Jozwiak in a three-man attack.

As for Stoke, 22-year-old Demeaco Duhaney could be handed his debut at right wing-back as Smith is ruled out due to suspension.

Tyrese Campbell (knee) and Tashan Oakley-Boothe (back) are close to returning from injury but are expected to miss out this weekend, while Nick Powell remains doubtful with a thigh strain.

O'Neill is not expected to make too many changes to his starting lineup, so the likes of Vrancic and Romaine Sawyers are set to remain in central midfield ahead of Sam Clucas and Alfie Doughty.

Derby County possible starting lineup:
Roos; Byrne, Davies, Jagielka, Buchanan; Shinnie, Bird, Knight; Lawrence, Baldock, Jozwiak

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Bursik; Ostigard, Souttar, Wilmot; Duhaney, Sawyers, Allen, Vrancic, Tymon; Brown, Surridge

We say: Derby County 0-1 Stoke City

Although Stoke have struggled at Pride Park in recent seasons, their current form is much better than Derby's heading into Saturday's game and that could help them in their quest of claiming all three points.

The hosts have kept a clean sheet in three of their last five league games, though we can see the Potters scoring this weekend and securing a narrow victory.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data

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6Huddersfield TownHuddersfield136341814421
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9Luton TownLuton134632218418
13Blackburn RoversBlackburn134542117417
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21Cardiff CityCardiff133281224-1211
22Hull City13238919-109
24Derby CountyDerby13373910-14
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