With one more point required to mathematically seal safety, The Rams could not be presented with a much tougher task.
They face second placed Norwich City at Carrow Road, an exciting attacking side who have surprised everyone with their sensational form this season following their promotion from League One last year.
They are now in a good position to secure a place in next year’s Premier League (finishing as champions appears beyond them, and every other promotion-chasing side) so they will be fighting tooth and nail for every last point, and that means a very difficult trip for Nigel Clough’s recently improved Rams.
When the sides met earlier in the season, two first half goals condemned Derby to a 1-2 defeat, and although Kris Commons scored to give his former side hope, no equaliser came about, despite a stone-wall penalty being turned down by the referee.
To get anything in East Anglia, our luck will have to be very different.
After making his first start since the opening day, defender Russell Anderson has called for ‘another QPR performance’ from the side: ‘We put in a very good performance at QPR and we deserved the point we got in the end.
‘We had the best chance of the game as well so we could have won it.
‘Norwich are having a great time of it right now, but there’s no reason why we can’t do it again at Carrow Road.’
The Canaries Team News:
Sam Vokes has returned to Wolves after being recalled to Molineux by Mick McCarthy to help with the Premier League side’s relegation battle.
Chris Martin, who scored when the sides met earlier in the season, is the most likely to replace him after recovering from a hamstring injury.
Oli Johnson, who has just returned from a loan spell at Yeovil, is another candidate to step in.
Player to watch: Grant Holt
Norwich have many good players, that is clear from their league position, but Grant Holt is truly their lucky talisman.
The ex-Forest striker dropped down to Shrewsbury Town after his spell at the City Ground, and he was picked up two seasons ago by The Canaries and hasn’t looked back since.
His over 50 goals since signing have propelled his side to one promotion, and they may just do it for a second time…
The Rams Team News:
Rams livewire Jamie Ward is banned following his red card against Burnley.
Ben Davies could come in to replace him and will be hoping to add to the scorching goal he scored against Leeds United before being dropped.
Gareth Roberts is unlikely to feature, meaning Russell Anderson will stay on the left hand side of defence.
Player to watch: Steve Davies
Forward Davies has looked good since coming back from injury. Many still debate whether he is the long term solution as the lone striker, but he will have to take on some goalscoring responsibility in the absence of Jamie Ward.
Wherever he plays next season (assuming he can remain fit) he has the potential to be a potent attacking threat.
Match Facts & Stats
Burnley (h) 2-4
Queens Park Rangers (a) 0-0
Leeds United (h) 2-1
Coventry City (h) 2-2
Cardiff City (a) 1-4
The Canaries’ last five:
Ipswich (a) 5-1
Nottingham Forest (h) 2-1
Watford (a) 2-2
Swansea City (a) 0-3
Scunthorpe United (h) 6-0
Derby County vs. Bristol City, Sat 30 Apr, 15:00, The Championship