Derby County`s roller coaster season finally comes to an end at Vicarage Road as The Rams take on Watford in a mid-table clash with neither side having anything of note to play for. After Nigel Clough`s side dragged out claiming the win needed to secure Championship survival they will be happy to have relieved the pressure ahead of this last day encounter and, with Watford also safe, it could two sides with new look line-ups in Sunday.
Nigel Clough looks to set to give some of his youngsters playing time at Vicarage Road after securing safety. A number of players have been carrying knocks in recent weeks and may be given the chance to rest as Rob Hulse, amongst others, has played through the pain to score the decisive goal last weekend. Barry Bannan has been looking sharp in the centre of the park and may continue in midfield with a rare outing for Tito Villa also seemingly on the cards.
Watford sit fifteenth in the Championship one place and one point above The Rams and they also secured their Championship status for next season last weekend. A 3-2 win at the Ricoh Arena against Coventry City where goals from former Rams Tommy Smith and Gregorz Razsiak help secure the win was enough for The Hornets. It has been a season of change at Vicarage Road with Brendan Rodgers taking over as manager in November after Aidy Boothroyd left the club by mutual consent. A Rob Hulse winner gave The Rams a 1-0 victory at Pride Park in December.
‘You can’t learn enough about them in one game but it’s about giving them the experience and saying: ‘This is where we want you to be in six months to two years and this is the level we want you to play at.”
These are our brightest young ones, or at least we think they are, and it gives them a good incentive to come back raring to go in pre-season.’
Nigel Clough talking to the Radio Derby about his plans to give some playing time to his youngsters on Sunday.
Watford Team News:
Ross Jenkins and Don Cowie look set to miss out although Danny Rose could be brought in as cover.
Player to watch: Tommy Smith
Player of the year for both clubs during his career and has top scored with 17 goals in the league this season.
Derby County Team News:
Rob Hulse may be given a rest after playing with knocks in recent weeks and Tito Villa could make a rare start. Nigel Clough looks set to give some of the young players a chance after safety was secured last week.
Player to watch: Tito Villa
Could be in line for a start and with it looking likely he will leave in the summer will want to sign off with a goal to repay the fans.
Match Facts & Stats
Last five results
Southampton (H) 2-2 Cauna, Priskin
Barnsley (H) 1-1 Smith
Norwich City (A) 0-2
Birmingham City (H) 0-1
Coventry City (A) 3-2 Smith, Rasiak, Priskin
Cardiff City (A) 1-4 Johnson (og)
Wolverhampton Wanderers (H) 2-3 Kazmierczak, Sterjovski
Crystal Palace (A) 0-1
Reading (H) 0-2
Charlton Athletic (H) 1-0 Hulse
Hard to know what the teams will be let alone the score, could be a feast of football on a sunny last day but probably not! 0-0.