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3 ways that Derby County can hurt West Bromwich Albion this weekend

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Without a win in the league since the opening day against Huddersfield Town, Derby County and Phillip Cocu look as though they still have a lot left to figure out before they can really begin to kick on in the 19/20 campaign.

The side has already struggled with injuries this season and have a tough test on Saturday when they host West Bromwich Albion.

So, what three ways can the Rams overturn their run of bad form and trouble the Baggies after their disappointing result to Bristol City?

Use 3-5-2

Cocu has started to experiment from the usual 4-3-3 Dutch-inspired formation that many had expected him to deploy throughout the season. Against Stoke and Bristol City, in their last two fixtures, the Rams switched to a 3-5-2 formation in the second half and looked much better both times.

With a shortage of full-backs and a plethora of strikers, the switch makes a lot of sense for Derby. Against Reading and Millwall, both of which play with two central attackers, West Brom have struggled and dropped points which may compel Derby to make the switch from the starting whistle.

A change in style can often bring a boost and a freshness to the side that might prove to be the difference.

Jack Marriott

Due to fitness, the fan favourite at Pride Park has had to settle for substitute appearances so far this season. Against the Robbins, though, he showed just how dangerous he can be, scoring a technically brilliant goal not soon after coming on as a substitute.

His energy alone lifted Derby completely and made them look a much better side. As everybody saw at Elland Road in the play-off semi-final, Marriott and Martyn Waghorn have a good understanding of each other and can perform well together in attack.

Cocu has suggested that Marriott could get his first start on Saturday and if he does, his introduction will give the players and supporters a huge boost making for an imposing challenge at Pride Park.

Set pieces

Both sides have struggled to defend set plays so far this season and look troubled when tasked with defending crosses into the box. Player for player, Derby have a bigger side than West Brom and they might have to use it to their advantage.

Both sides will look to play football from the back which may make for a tight match. Often, a well-rehearsed set-piece routine can be the difference between two well-matched sides. Two times already this season, Millwall have shown teams in the division how to make West Brom feel uncomfortable; all three of their goals against the Baggies came from crosses into the box.

Particular from set-pieces, Derby have Matt Clarke, Krystian Bielik, Richard Keogh and Waghorn who can all pose a huge threat from corners and free kicks.

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