The Sky Bet Championship is back in action on Tuesday night, and Derby County face Hull in a crucial game at the top as the two sides battle it out for three vital points in the play-off race.
Neither side have been in brilliant form lately, with Derby losing 2-1 at the hands of Cardiff on Saturday, but Hull picked up their first win in five league games by thrashing Bristol City 4-0 at the KC Stadium.
Derby were 2-0 winners in November when the two teams met earlier this season, that game being one of their best performances, and the Rams are the only team to have left Hull with all 3 points this season.
The Tigers have won just four away games since the turn of the year, and Derby have kept clean sheets in their last three home games, but with both teams’ inconsistency, the game’s outcome looks unpredictable.
FootballLeagueWorld writer Robert Booth identifies THREE things to look out for during the clash…….
1) Hull’s talented strike force
Derby will have a job on their hands to keep quiet the attacking players in Hull’s line up.
Coming off the back of a 4-0 win, the Tigers front line is in red hot form.
Hull have a lot of Premier League experience in their team, at the front and back, but the forward players in the team are arguably the best in the league.
Robert Snodgrass has been outstanding since returning from a long term injury, as well as Mo Diame, who uses a combination of strength and pace to drive at defences.
However top scorer Abel Hernandez was benched for Saturday’s win after a poor run of form.
2) Derby’s decent home defence
Since Darren Wassall took over at Derby, the Rams have only conceded once at home, and have kept clean sheets in their last three games.
However, since Wassall’s appointment, Derby have not welcomed a team in the top half of the table to the iPro.
Squad depth has played a big part in this, after Jason Shackell was forced off in the home win over Nottingham Forest, another experienced player in this division, Jake Buxton was able to step in and help finish the job.
3) Sone Aluko
Aluko hasn’t had much game time this season, making the majority of his appearances from the subs bench.
But with Abel Hernandez’s first team place not guaranteed, Sone Aluko could be in the starting 11, especially since he got on the score sheet at the weekend.
He has only scored 3 goals this season, but Sone Aluko will bring good attacking qualities, as well as experience to the Tigers team.
Derby and Hull fans… what is your score prediction? Can either Derby or Hull get promoted this season? Let us know in the comments below!