Unbeaten since 1982
Derby County go into the game at Loftus Road expected to do very little as Harry Redknapp looks to reinstate his side’s determination to win games after a pretty uninspiring week.
However, it’s a fact that Derby always seem to do well at Loftus Road, and so well infact, that they haven’t tasted defeat there in over 20 years.
The East Midlands side have mustered 5 wins and 5 draws in their 10 games at the West London side’s home since they last lost there, so perhaps the omens are good for Steve McClaren and his men.
Gone in 10 seconds
Watford and Leicester go head to head in what is a replay of the play-off semi-final last season. Now, the fact they played each other in last season’s play-off semi is not exactly an earth shattering, but the manner in which the game ended is.
In the dying moments of the game, Leicester to their delight won a penalty, a goal would have seen them through to Wembley and favourites to win promotion to the Premier League and a miss would have seen them go to extra-time, so no big deal.. Right? Wrong.
Anthony Knockaert, the impressive and confident French winger found no problem stepping up to the plate and taking the penalty, but unfortunately for him saw his effort saved by experience goalkeeper Manuel Almunia.
The drama didn’t stop there! Within 15 seconds of the penalty being took, the sharpness and awareness of a Watford attack saw Troy Deeney get a chance on goal and it was a chance he took putting Watford in the play-off final at Wembley, without having to go into extra time.
Searching for a first EVER win
Yeovil travel to Elland Road tomorrow with the burden on their shoulders that they are still winless against their opponents.
Leeds and Yeovil have played each 6 times overall and the spoils have almost been the Yorkshire sides every time, winning 5 and drawing 1 of their 6 meetings.
Yeovil will hope to break tradition on Saturday and register their first win over a Leeds United side that is struggling to find consistency.
Ollie’s men defeat Billy’s boys
In a replay of the 2010 play-off semi-final at the City Ground, Blackpool travel to Forest in the hope that they can keep their promising run to the season going for a bit longer.
It was one of those special games that came alive in the second half after a pretty uninspiring first half which saw Forest 1-0 up on the night and the side’s 2-2 on aggregate.
DJ Campbell put on a show of raw talent as he pulled out all the stops to take Blackpool to the play-off final, a second half hat-trick which resulted in a 4-3 Blackpool away win saw them onto the play-off final and eventually onto the Premier League.
Forest will hope not to have a repeat, however, after the Yeovil defeat which would have brought bad memories of that play-off night then the same could easily happen here.
Winless Wednesday no luck with Reading
Winless and out of luck, Sheffield Wednesday couldn’t have asked for a much trickier game than facing a Reading side who have proved a bit of a boggy side for them in recent years.
The two clubs have had a fairly lengthy sabbatical from each other in recent years, but the omens don’t look too good for a Wednesday side still looking for their first win.
Reading, who have won their last 4 games on the bounce against Wednesday with the last meeting ending in a 5-0 win for the Berkshire side.
Dave Jones will need to break that run on Saturday if there is any chance of him having a job on Monday morning.
image: © Tom Cuppens