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Match Previews

Preview: Derby County

13 February 2016

The Dons travel to Derby County today, looking to maintain their recent unbeaten run against top-half sides.

In the past week, Karl Robinson’s side have held both Cardiff City and Sky Bet Championship leaders Middlesbrough to draws and they were incredibly unlucky not to take all three points from the latter on Tuesday evening, conceding a stoppage-time equaliser.

The men from MK1 have lost just once in their last five league games and avoided defeat in three of their four most recent away fixtures in all competitions – form that has seen them move three points clear of the bottom three.

Derby sit fifth in the Sky Bet Championship and are just five points adrift of the top of the table.

However, they are yet to win a league game since the turn of the year and that run saw Paul Clement depart from the iPro Stadium earlier this week.

The Rams have yet to appoint a successor to Clement but they’ll be hopeful that caretaker boss Darren Wassall can lead them to what would be an eighth home victory of the campaign.

The Dons were minutes away from securing a memorable victory over promotion-chasing Middlesbrough on Tuesday evening.

Karl Robinson’s men led Boro from the ninth minute of the clash at stadiummk thanks to Dean Bowditch’s fourth goal of the season and looked all set to bag an important three points.

However, their whole-hearted performance wasn’t rewarded as Jordan Rhodes headed past David Martin deep into stoppage time to earn a share of the spoils for his side.

Clement’s side dominated the second half but weren’t able to find a winner, although Johnny Russell did go close from Richard Keogh’s set-up with an effort which was superbly denied by Andy Lonergan.

It was Fulham who took the lead when Rams debutant Marcus Olsson put through his own net but Craig Bryson levelled things up with volley just before half-time.

Derby were also involved in a 1-1 in their last outing, last Saturday’s fixture at Fulham.

Karl Robinson: “We know we’re going into a difficult game. They’ve got some of the best players in the league. They are without a manager but they are still five points off the top. They are one of the big four in the division but we’ll accept the challenge.”

Darren Wassall: “It’s only natural for players to feel a bit strange when there is a change of Head Coach. Our players who I have trained with over the past few days have been extremely professional and they all went to well. We have to get back to winning ways.”

Samir Carruthers: 6/1
Josh Murphy: 9/2
Dean Bowditch: 4/1
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas: 7/2
Alex Revell: 7/2
Dons’ first goalscorer

Dons: 11/2
Draw: 16/5
Derby: 1/2

Last draw: N/A
Draws at iPro Stadium: 0
Draws: 0

Last Derby win: 1-3, 26th Sep 2015
Derby wins at iPro Stadium: 0
Derby wins: 1

Last Dons win: N/A
Dons wins at iPro Stadium: 0
Dons wins: 0

Eltringham’s two assistant referees are Barry Cropp and Iain Siddall, while the fourth official is Andrew Madley.

This afternoon's clash at the iPro Stadium will be Eltringham’s 28th game of the campaign. So far in 2015/16, the County Durham official has booked 69 players, sent off six and awarded seven penalties.

Today’s referee is Geoff Eltringham, who will charge of the Dons for the first time since their 3-1 victory over Notts County back in March 2014.

Bradley Johnson, Jacob Butterfield, Tom Ince, Stephen Warnock and Nick Blackman were all left out of the side last weekend and could return to the starting line-up under Wassall.

Derby’s caretaker boss Darren Wassall will be without Will Hughes (knee) and defenders Max Lowe (knee) and Jake Buxton (back) in his first game in charge.

Carl Baker (ankle), Matt Upson (hamstring) and Ben Reeves (thigh) are still sidelined, while Antony Kay (illness) will be monitored.

Alex Revell impressed on his debut against Middlesbrough so will be hoping to retain his place up-front. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas is another who will want to remain in the starting XI but the likes of Jonny Williams and Rob Hall will want to feature too.

The Dons have no fresh injury worries heading into today’s game.

A full match report will be available to view on straight after the final whistle

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*All odds correct at the time of writing Tickets for today's trip to Derby can now only be bought on the day from the away ticket office in the south-east corner of the iPro Stadium - prices£29 adults, £20.50 over-65s and £16 under-18s.

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