Sky Sports EFL pundit David Prutton has predicted Derby County will slip to a second-consecutive loss since Phillip Cocu’s exit when they travel to the Riverside to take on Middlesbrough tomorrow.
Wayne Rooney, Liam Rosenior, and the rest of the interim team in charge of the Rams suffered defeat at the hands of Bristol City on Saturday, meaning they remain bottom of the Championship.
Derby, who are the lowest scorers in the division, now travel to the North East to take on a Boro side with the meanest defensive record in the second tier and one that Neil Warnock has made very difficult to beat this term.
In his predictions for Sky Sports, Prutton has suggested that Derby’s long winless run will continue and forecasted a 1-0 victory for the hosts.
He explained: “Boro once again highlighted just how defensively sound they are against Norwich, despite going down to a late Teemu Pukki penalty. It was a goal that prevented Neil Warnock’s side keeping a fifth successive clean sheet, though conceding one in five games is pretty good going.
“Phillip Cocu may have left Pride Park over the international break yet Derby are still in freefall. The Rams haven’t won a game since October 3 and are rooted to the bottom of the table. The fact Middlesbrough rarely concede goals, coupled with the fact Derby can’t score at the moment, points to this being a very tight affair and one I think the hosts will edge.”
That result would leave the Rams rock bottom of the Championship, while Boro could close the gap between them and the top six to just one point.
Derby hopes will be boosted by the return of winger Kamil Jozwiak, while Colin Kazim-Richards could return to the squad but both Krystian Bielik and Jordan Ibe are unlikely to feature.
The home side look set to be without both Marcus Browne and Sam Morsy for tomorrow’s game.
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It’s hard to disagree with Prutton here.
Boro haven’t exactly been blowing teams away this season but they’re strong defensively and very difficult to beat, so it’s hard to see a Derby side that have been relatively toothless this term turning them over.
That said, the Rams interim coaches will be determined to get a reaction out of the players – particularly as the clock is ticking for them to impress the club hierarchy.