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Derby County boss Phillip Cocu makes Leeds United claim ahead of clash

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Derby County boss Phillip Cocu has claimed Leeds United are “a very good team” and that the meeting at Elland Road on Saturday will be a “big occasion”.

The Rams travel to West Yorkshire to play Leeds for the first time since they beat them 4-2 to knock them out of the Championship play-offs in May.

Derby subsequently lost to Aston Villa in the play-off final and have since seen manager Frank Lampard replaced by Cocu.

The Dutchman has made a shaky start to life in the East Midlands and his side are currently 19th, with just seven points from seven games.

Leeds, on the other hand, have made a strong start to the season and are top of the Championship.

Speaking to the Derby website ahead of the game, Cocu acknowledged it would be a difficult test for his side.

He said: “It will be a big occasion, absolutely. They play very well and are a very good team.

“It is a game of football, anything is possible. If we can bring our game to this match, we know we can be a hard team to beat.

“It is a difficult game, but it is always possible to get a result.

“They can play football, but we can play as well.”

Cocu continued: “We have to show our performance against Cardiff was not just a single game, we need to do it again against Leeds and then against Birmingham after that.”

The Verdict

Considering Derby’s start to the season and the revenge that Leeds will likely be seeking, this looks like a really difficult game for Cocu’s side.

However, they may be able to take some solace from the fact that the Whites have won just once in their last seven games at home.

Teams such as Nottingham Forest and Swansea City have been successful at Elland Road by sitting back and ensuring they are resolute defensively–so Cocu may look at that as a blueprint for how to have success against Marcelo Bielsa’s side on Saturday.

Whatever the result it should be a fiery occasion given what happened the last time these two sides met.

ScoopDragon Football News Network