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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Neil Warnock's Cardiff capable of battering Rams

Bluebirds too powerful for dissolving Derby

Cardiff's Callum Paterson enjoys the victory over Nottingham Forest
1 of 1

Sky Bet Championship
Sky Sports Football, 7.45pm Tuesday

Derby's habit of dissolving at just the wrong time is happening once more and the ropey Rams are set for more heartache at home to promotion-chasing Cardiff.

Derby have a less than proud recent history of fading out of the promotion frame and two wins in their last 13 matches have seen them slip outside the Sky Bet Championship playoff places.

Gary Rowett’s men have lost three in a row, a trio of knockbacks which included an abject capitulation at Burton and Saturday’s dismally unimpressive home loss to a fairly ordinary Middlesbrough side.

Rowett changed his formation at the weekend, switching to three at the back, but to no avail. He claimed it showed they have flexibility when it’s needed but the counter argument is that the players couldn’t cope with the alterations after only a few days’ work on the training ground.

Presumably, that experiment will be jettisoned against Cardiff and Rowett will be hoping his paceless centre midfielders don't get overrun and that top scorer Matej Vydra rediscovers some magic after a difficult few weeks.

That’s a lot to ask for against a Cardiff side who are the epitome of graft and fight and don’t know when they’re beaten.

Back-to-back wins at Norwich and at home to Nottingham Forest have hoisted the Bluebirds back into pole position for the second automatic-promotion spot and Neil Warnock looks spoiled for choice in midfield where the return from injury of Joe Ralls has been a real plus.

Derby go off slight favourites, although the idea of home advantage is questionable for the Rams. They have won only ten of their 21 home games this season and the atmosphere at Pride Park was fairly toxic on Saturday.

1pt 19-10 Betfair

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Team news
Gary Rowett has no fresh injury concerns but winger Ikechi Anya (calf) and striker Sam Winnall (knee) remain sidelined.

Jazz Richards has returned to full training and centre-back Sol Bamba will be assessed before kick-off.

Key stat
Cardiff have lost only one of their last nine away games.

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Derby have won only ten of their 21 home league games this season
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