Nov 1, 2014 at 3pm UK at ​Griffin Park
Brentford
2-1
DerbyDerby County
Gray (49'), Dallas (94')
Douglas (90'), Judge (90'), Proschwitz (90')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Martin (27')
Buxton (53'), Dawkins (60'), Martin (83'), Omar (90')

Preview: Brentford vs. Derby County

Derby County's English manager Steve McClaren stands on the sideline during the English Championship Play Off final football match between Derby County and Queens Park Rangers at Wembley Stadium in London on May 24, 2014
© Getty Images
Sports Mole looks ahead to Saturday's Championship clash between Brentford and leaders Derby County at Griffin Park.

League leaders Derby County will be looking to maintain their slender advantage over the chasing pack when they travel to Griffin Park to take on Brentford on Saturday.

Three teams are currently level on 26 points at the top of the Championship table, but the Rams lead the way due to superior goal difference as things stand.

That is despite a shock 2-1 defeat at the hands of Wigan Athletic last weekend, a result that handed Derby just their second loss of the season.

It looked as if Steve McClaren's side could be heading for back-to-back defeats for the first time since March when they fell 2-0 behind against Fulham in the League Cup on Tuesday, but they rallied to eventually run out 5-2 victors - the second time this season they have fired five goals past the Cottagers.

A quarter-final tie against Chelsea now awaits them in December, but for now their full focus must be on the league given how tight things are at the top.

The good news for the Rams is that they have been in imperious form on their travels recently, winning five in a row in all competitions and scoring 14 goals in the process. Indeed, they boast the best away record in the league this season, taking 14 points from a possible 21 on the road.

The emphatic nature of Derby's victory in midweek could convince McClaren to keep changes to a minimum, with Simon Dawkins likely to keep his place in the side having netted a brace.

Will Hughes is expected to play, however, while Jack Butland is also likely to return to the starting XI this weekend.

The Rams come up against a Brentford side who have adapted fairly well to life in the second tier of English football, sitting 13th in the Championship table after 14 matches.

Consistency has been an issue for the Bees, but Mark Warburton would surely be content with picking up points here and there if it meant they finished the campaign in the same position they find themselves in now.

They come into this weekend's match without a win in three, although draws against Wigan Athletic and Sheffield Wednesday are certainly not poor results, while defeat to a rejuvenated Bolton Wanderers was not entirely unexpected.

Even so, they managed just one goal in those three outings, resulting in speculation that Sunderland striker Danny Graham could join the club on loan.

Things look a lot brighter at Griffin Park, however, which has become something of a fortress for Brentford recently. Only Norwich have beaten the Bees there in the league this season, while 12 of their 19 points have come in front of their own fans.

The hosts have no new injury concerns this weekend, but Spaniard Jon Toral is pushing for a start having come off the bench to score against Bolton.

Recent form

Brentford: LDDWLW

Derby: WLWWDW

Possible starting lineups

Brentford: Button; McCormack, Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Odubajo, Judge, Douglas, Pritchard, Jota; Gray

Derby: Butland; Christie, Keogh, Buxton, Forsyth; Hughes, Hendrick, Bryson; Russell, Martin, Dawkins

Sports Mole says: 1-2

Who will win Saturday's clash between Brentford and Derby?

Brentford
Derby
Draw
Brentford
12.2%
Derby
76.8%
Draw
11.0%
Derby County's English manager Steve McClaren stands on the sideline during the English Championship Play Off final football match between Derby County and Queens Park Rangers at Wembley Stadium in London on May 24, 2014
Read Next:
Preview: Derby vs. Wigan
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole



Tables