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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Derby can claim another notable home scalp

Huddersfield face a fight to secure playoff spot

Derby manager Gary Rowett
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Sky Bet Championship
Sky Sports 1, 5pm Monday

Derby's unlikely push for a Sky Bet Championship playoff place was effectively ended by a 4-0 thumping at Brentford on Friday, but they could bounce back at home to delay third-placed Huddersfield from claiming a post-season berth.

The Rams are ten points behind sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday but before they were defeated at Griffin Park they had collected ten points from four games under new manager Gary Rowett and they look set to make a much stronger challenge next season.

Even under Rowett's predecessor Steve McClaren, Pride Park was a difficult place for many Championship teams to go and while the Terriers may still harbour slim hopes of catching Newcastle and going up automatically, their recent away performances have not been up to scratch.

Trips to strugglers Bristol City and Nottingham Forest brought 4-0 and 2-0 defeats and three losses in their last five matches have allowed Rafa Benitez's Magpies to breathe a little easier.

The door to automatic promotion would have been almost shut had Collin Quaner not grabbed a winning goal in the sixth minute of injury time against Preston on Friday and it could be that David Wagner's side are limping towards the end of the campaign.

Derby are a tough nut to crack on their own patch and it is possible that the defeat to the Bees will act as a wake-up call.

The Rams boast the third tightest home defence in the second tier and motivated by the flea in the ear they were given on Friday, they could add another notable home scalp having beaten the other three teams in the playoff positions - Reading, Leeds and Wednesday.

1pt 8-5 Betway

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Team news
Striker David Nugent is doubtful with a groin strain, so Darren Bent could be handed a starting berth.

Midfielder Philip Billing is struggling with a groin injury but he is the Terriers' only injury concern.

Key stat
Derby have lost just one of their last 16 Championship home matches.

Derby are a tough nut to crack on their own patch and it is possible that the defeat to the Bees will act as a wake-up call
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