Derby County vs Fulham FC
English Championship Play-off Semi Final First Leg 2018
Date: 11th May 2018, Friday
Kick-off at 19:45 UK/ 20:45 CET
Venue: Pride Park.
Derby County welcome Fulham to the Pride Park on Friday, 11th May 2018 for the first leg of 2017-18 English Championship Play-off Semifinal.
The Rams finished 6th in the regular season and they did it by picking 7 points from the last three games after a turbulent second half of the campaign. Garry Rowett’s men managed just 2 wins from the 13 games between February and April, but the recent three match unbeaten streak will give them some momentum and confidence to carry into this crucial tie.
Fulham have been fairly consistent throughout the season, but they failed to deliver the crucial three points when it mattered the most. They lost 3-1 to Birmingham in the final game of the regular season, a win there could have sent them to Premier League already instead of Cardiff City.
The defeat at Birmingham is Fulham’s first in the calendar year 2018. Their unbeaten run lasted for 23 matches with 18 wins and 5 draws.
Both teams had tasted heartbreak in play-off before, especially Derby who are at this stage for a third time in five seasons. They lost the finals to QPR in 2013-14 while eliminated at the semifinal stage in 2015-16.
Meanwhile, this is Fulham’s second consecutive appearance at this stage since they got relegated from Premier League back in 2013-14 season. Last season, they were eliminated at the semifinals by Reading by a 2-1 aggregate score.
Derby County vs Fulham: Head-to-head
Fulham are unbeaten in the two league meetings this season with a draw in the first at home and finished off with a 2-1 win at Pride Park in this March.
Derby are slightly ahead in the 8 Championship games between then since 2014 with 3 wins against 2 losses, with the other 3 shared as stalemates.
The last five h2h meetings between Derby and Fulham saw both teams scoring.
The Rams were unbeaten in three Championship h2h games at Pride Park before the loss to Fulham this season. They did bag two big victories in the process, 4-2 in 2017 and 5-1 in 2014.
Derby County vs Fulham: Prediction
Having found the momentum at the right time, Derby County must be considered as equal favorites in this first leg clash despite finishing 3 placed and 13 points behind Fulham in the league table. Besides, the Rams have a good account of themselves in front of goal in home games having scored 19 goals in their last 8 here.
But, Derby have problems in defending and conceded 13 goals in their last 8 home games. This is a stat that excites the Fulham fans as their team have scored in 12 consecutive away games, that is every match since Christmas. Still the Cottagers are not the kind of team that keep clean sheets.
Therefore, my top pick here is both teams to score and I believe most of you reading this at LeagueLane already think this as the best bet for this game.
Derby County vs Fulham: Bet Tips
Both teams to Score @ 1.78 odd is a potential banker.
Matej Vydra (Derby) – 21 Championship goals this season – priced at 2.95 odds.
Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) – The winter signing scored 12 goals from 17 appearances for the Cottagers and 5 in the last 7 – priced at 2.75 odd.
All betting odds courtesy of 888Sport.
- Read the Preview for second play-off Semifinal between Middlesbrough and Aston Villa