Derby County are set to welcome EFL Championship leaders Bournemouth on Sunday at Pride Park. Bournemouth have a two-point lead at the top of the league while Derby sit at the bottom. Can Bournemouth continue their winning run?
It’s looking more likely as the season progresses that Derby will be relegated to EFL League One next season. Recently, they were penalized additional nine points. As a result, the Rams are now at the bottom of the Championship, with three wins, nine draws, and five losses in 17 matches. Derby fans have now accepted the fact that their team are playing for honor rather than anything. They have drawn three of their previous five matches. In their previous game, Derby grabbed a point away at Millwall before the international break. The Rams will be looking to mount a tough challenge for the league leader in their upcoming match. Right-back Nathan Byrne is set to miss out as he was sent off in the last game against Millwall. Kazim-Richards will be in contention to start the game in the attacking line-up while Ebosele could be deployed at the right-back position. In addition, Sibley could also feature in the attack.
In their previous game against Millwall, Derby provided a tough challenge for the home side. Millwall had a marginally better xG than Derby, and Afobe had the highest xG in the match. Scott Malone and Sam Baldock took the joint-highest shots, while Jed Wallace led the dribbles chart. Lee Buchanan made the highest number of duels.
Derby have made it tough for the opponents to break them down in the recent games. They have conceded 22 goals so far, while their average goals conceded is less than one, which is one of the lowest in the Championship.
Bournemouth have been in impressive form this season, more specifically in the recent matches. They have already laid a strong claim for the promotion spot this season and are two points above Fulham at the top of the Championship. In their previous game, the Cherries were dominant, as they dismantled Swansea 4-0. Two goals each from Dominic Solanke and Jaidon Anthony secured an easy three points for Bournemouth. So far, they have 12 wins, four draws and one loss. Bournemouth’s defensive record has also been brilliant this season as they have conceded the lowest number of goals in the league. Jaidon Anthony ended his goal drought in the previous game against Swansea. Scott Parker should opt for the same lineup as the one in the last game. Ben Pearson could be in contention for the match. Solanke should lead the attacking line-up with support from Christie and Anthony.
Bournemouth were dominant against Swansea City, as suggested by the above stats. Their xG of 2.55 was higher than their opponent’s 0.35. They also took more shots than their opponents. Their defensive pressing intensity was also much better, as indicated by their lower PPDA value.
Bournemouth are placed fourth in the Championship in terms of expected goals and third in terms of expected goals per 90, which indicates that they are creating high-quality goal scoring chances. So far, they have scored 31 goals.
Derby County (4-4-2) – Roos; Ebosele, Davies, Jagielka, Buchanan; Knight, Shinnie, Bird, Lawrence; Baldock, Kazim-Richards.
Bournemouth (4-3-3) – Travers; Stacey, Cahill, Kelly, Davis; Pearson, Lerma, Billing; Christie, Solanke, Anthony.
Derby will prove to be a tough test for the Cherries at home, but Bournemouth are heavy favorites going into the match.