MX23RW : Tuesday, May 24 03:40:37| >> :600:530397:530397:
[monks data]
Jan 30, 2022 at 1.30pm UK at Pride Park
2 - 2
Plange (87'), Bielik (90+5')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Taylor (7'), Hogan (56')
Woods (62'), Etheridge (63'), Gardner (70'), James (89')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Championship clash between Derby County and Birmingham City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Derby County play host to Birmingham City on Sunday afternoon desperately requiring three points to boost their chances of avoiding relegation from the Championship.

While the Blues sit 12 points clear of the bottom three, there is still scope for the visitors being dragged into a battle for survival, particularly if they lose out at Pride Park.

Match preview

Derby County manager Wayne Rooney on January 22, 2022© Reuters

As the fight to secure a new owner rumbles on, Wayne Rooney will no doubt be feeling the frustration of knowing that more players will leave Pride Park before Monday's transfer deadline without the ability to bring in replacements.

Although things could change in their favour at some point, Sunday's Midlands showdown with Birmingham will realistically mark the game where Derby will be at their strongest for the remainder of the campaign.

That scenario significantly ups the ante as Derby bid to further reduce the eight-point margin to safety, but Rooney has built such a rapport with his players that whoever takes to the pitch on Sunday will back themselves to come through with a maximum return.

Derby's five-match unbeaten streak in the league came to an end last weekend when they went down to neighbours Nottingham Forest, with Tom Lawrence's late penalty proving to be a consolation.

Rooney's side now face a batch of fixtures against either relegation-threatened or playoff-chasing teams, and they will have to dig deep to stay in relatively close proximity to 21st position.

Birmingham City's Onel Hernandez celebrates scoring their first goal with Lukas Jutkiewicz on January 22, 2022© Reuters

Like their hosts, Birmingham have also been dealing with off-the-field matters, but Lee Bowyer will be delighted that four points were still claimed from pivotal home matches.

While Bowyer would have naturally wanted to defeat each of Barnsley and Peterborough United, avoiding defeat against both teams has significantly strengthened their efforts to stay out of a relegation battle.

Despite sitting in 18th position, Birmingham are as close to the playoffs as they are to the bottom three, and they have shown the ambition to make a late bid for the former with the acquisitions of Juninho Bacuna and Lyle Taylor.

Nevertheless, at a time when Birmingham are attempting to end a three-month wait for an away win, there is a feeling that consolidation and direction both on and off the pitch is all that matters right now.

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

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

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

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

Team News

Huddersfield Town's Juninho Bacuna in action with Stoke City's John Obi Mikel on January 30, 2021© Reuters

Derby will be unable to call upon Ravel Morrison, who was sent off during the final seconds of the defeat at Forest.

Festy Ebosele and Lawrence are subject to transfer interest, leaving their participation in doubt, with the likes of Kamil Jozwiak and Louie Sibley on standby.

Luke Plange is also in contention for a recall in attack, with Colin Kazim-Richards potentially dropping to the substitutes' bench.

Bacuna is likely to be handed an immediate debut by Birmingham, taking the place of youngster Jordan James.

Kristian Pedersen may be retained at left-back, despite Bowyer being disappointed with his performance against Peterborough, but Taylor could start among the replacements.

Derby County possible starting lineup:
Allsop; Byrne, Stearman, Davies, Buchanan; Ebosele, Bird, Thompson, Knight; Lawrence; Kazim-Richards

Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Etheridge; Colin, Mengi, Roberts, Pedersen; Sunjic, Woods; Jutkiewicz, Bacuna, Hernandez; Hogan

SM words green background

We say: Derby County 2-1 Birmingham City

There will be a part of Bowyer's thinking where he considers a draw to be a good result from this contest. However, Blues are facing a side which will push hard for all three points, and that extra desire may serve the Rams well in the closing stages.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 2.5 goals 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.Under 2.5:data

ID:476547:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect10633:

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General view of Birmingham City's St Andrew's taken 2016
Read Next:
Birmingham City: Transfer ins and outs - January 2022
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Todays Game Header Right
3Huddersfield TownHuddersfield4623131064471782
4Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest4623111273403380
5Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd4621121363451875
6Luton TownLuton462112136355875
8Blackburn RoversBlackburn461912155950969
10West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom461813155245767
11Queens Park RangersQPR46199186059166
12Coventry CityCoventry461713166059164
13Preston North EndPreston461616145256-464
14Stoke CityStoke461711185752562
15Swansea CitySwansea461613175868-1061
17Bristol City461510216277-1555
18Cardiff CityCardiff46158235068-1853
19Hull City46149234154-1351
20Birmingham CityBirmingham461114215075-2547
RPeterborough UnitedPeterborough46910274387-4437
RDerby CountyDerby461413194553-834

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