Derby County, after missing out on a Premier League promotion last season despite securing a ‘top six’ finish, were off to a flying start under new gaffer Frank Lampard following an injury-time victory over Reading on the opening day but are set to host a resurgent Leeds United side at Pride Park today.
The Whites grabbed a stunning 3-1 win against promotion favourites Stoke City and the influence of iconic Marcelo Bielsa, the new United chief, was distinct at Elland Road.
This intriguing Championship encounter will experience the battle of nerves as well as a strategic masterclass and a few things must be analyzed before these two elegant outfits lock horns with each other.
El Loco And His Tactical Highness
The Rams possess a squad capable of clinching top-flight promotion, but they should not be labelled as favourites despite hosting this fixture and Lampard, pretty new to management, will have a run for his money against Marcelo Bielsa – one of the pioneers of modern day football for his profound knowledge and sheer masterclass down at the touchline.
Although known for his famous 3-3-1-3 strategy, the former Argentina and Chile chief opted to field the Whites in a traditional 4-1-4-1 set up that often altered to a 4-3-3 depending upon the texture of the Stoke outing.
His mastery should influence the fate of the game and the former Chelsea and England midfield icon will get to enhance his managerial attributes learning from the opponent’s dugout.
The Rams And Their Exciting Attacking Third
The Englishman netted 16 times for the Suffolk-based outfit on his Championship return and will be accompanied by young Welsh duo Tom Lawrence and Harry Wilson.
Lampard’s lethal front trio will hand the Rams a sizeable edge over their league counterparts once they gel in properly before starting to produce results week in week out in one of Europe’s most aggressive competitions.
The Battle Of Midfield
Although both the teams have their own strengths and discomforts, the outcome of this illustrious outing will be decided in the middle of the park. Leeds have an inexperienced central midfield compared to veteran Derby duo Joe Ledley and Craig Bryson.
But the main feature will be Rams teenager Mason Moult taking on young midfield sensation Kalvin Phillips and these two prodigies will play a pivotal role in the fate of this outing.