Sky Sports EFL pundit David Prutton has predicted Derby County will beat Barnsley at Oakwell tomorrow evening to move off the bottom for the first time since the club went into administration.
The Rams were handed a 12-point deduction back in September after administrators took charge and have been in 24th place ever since.
On Wednesday, they travel to Oakwell to face a Barnsley side that will be led by interim boss Jo Laumann after Markus Schopp’s sacking.
The Austrian coach was only appointed in the summer but has found replacing Valerien Ismael extremely tough and was given his marching orders after the Tykes fell to a seventh consecutive Championship defeat away at Bristol City on Saturday.
Derby travel up to Yorkshire in poor form themselves – having gone five games without a win – but they know that a victory will see them leapfrog tomorrow’s opponents in the table and move them off the bottom for the first time since the points deduction.
On the Sky Sports website, Prutton has predicted the Rams will get the three points they need by claiming a 1-0 win.
He explained: “It had been coming. Barnsley have been so poor this season and it was only a matter of time before the axe fell on Markus Schopp. They are only saved from being bottom by Derby’s points deduction, and just one win all season is not good enough.
“Derby have the chance to climb above the Tykes with a win, which would be a remarkable achievement in its own right. Even if Barnsley experience a little bit a bounce after Schopp’s departure, I think the Rams could edge this one.”
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Derby may well feel a little hard done by that their game against the out-of-sorts Tykes comes directly after Schopp’s sacking because that can often see a team raise their performance levels.
Even so, Rooney will know that his side have it in them to take all three points at Oakwell and the chance to move off the bottom of the table should be very motivating.
Prutton is bang on, it would be a remarkable achievement if they can do it and shows the resilience in the squad to keep impressing despite the points deduction and off-field chaos.
A win tomorrow night to end their five-game run without one would be a massive momentum boost and will surely give them more belief that they can stay up this term.