Derby vs Cardiff predictions and betting tips for this televised Championship game on Friday 13th September. Can either of these sides kick-start their campaign under the floodlights?
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Despite the season being just six games old, there is already some pressure on Rams boss Phillip Cocu. The Dutchman is in no immediate danger of getting the chop, but he must find a way to get his side scoring freely. Derby have netted just six times so far this campaign, and only a third of those have arrived at Pride Park. Martyn Waghorn has netted the majority of their goals so far, with each of his last two coming from the penalty spot. Although they lost some key figures in the summer, the squad is still reasonably packed with talent, and they shouldn’t be dropping so many points. They found themselves opened up against Brentford two weeks ago, and have conceded six times in their last two matches in all competitions. With Forest having suddenly turned a corner, Rams fans are understandably concerned about their sides progress so far. There are ongoing takeover talks at the club, but even if there was money available, Cocu wouldn’t be able to add much firepower until January. On a more positive note, they were the better side against both Swansea and West Brom at Pride Park, and although they are yet to pick up a victory, they look far more assured on home soil.
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Cardiff have also struggled to adapt to life back in the Championship, and Neil Warnock’s men have even been struggling on the XG numbers as well. They couldn’t break down ten man Fulham two Friday’s ago, and struggled to create clearcut chances. Admittedly, they’ve got a much changed squad from last season, and it is always going to take time to adjust, but they look a shadow of their former selves. Although it is still early days, only five teams have conceded more goals than Cardiff on the road, with the 3-0 to Reading particularly damaging to their goal difference. Of course, they haven’t been without their injuries, and the loss of Neil Etheridge and Marlon Pack has been troubling them, but they need to start picking up points if they have any hope of securing an instant return to the top flight. On the plus side, they are difficult to beat, and have only lost one of their last four in all competitions (in the EFL Cup), they will make it difficult for their hosts.
Neither of these two sides will be satisfied with their start to the campaign, and this is the perfect opportunity to get three points in front of the TV cameras. Derby have looked better at home, but they do lack some firepower, and unless Jack Marriott comes off the bench, or Tom Lawrence produces a moment of magic, they may not find a way through. Cardiff are tougher to beat, and they could easily leave Pride Park with a point on Friday night. The draw is 5/2 and looks the best option in this Championship encounter.
It’s hard to look beyond the aforementioned Martyn Waghorn in this game. Although, Marriott is supposedly fit again, Cocu prefers to start with the North Easterner up top. Despite missing from the spot against Swansea, he’s remained on penalty duty, and has netted his last two. He is 21/10 to score in this game, and is the best option here.
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