Derby County vs Bristol City Match Preview
A tight game is expected at Pride Park on Friday night, as Derby County play host to Bristol City - a crucial match in the race for promotion to the Premier League.
Derby currently sit second in the table, 10 points behind runaway leaders Wolves, and they have achieved that position thanks to a strong home record; 8 wins from 13 matches, scoring 22 goals and conceding just nine in the process.
Many punters will see this game as another home banker, however Derby have been a little flattered during their recent eight-match unbeaten streak, achieving a total of 10.88 xG compared to a real goals tally of 15. As the table below illustrates, the 3-1 scoreline also flattered them at Birmingham last weekend (66.42% fairness).
Derby certainly have the edge when it comes to this fixture in recent seasons, winning three of their last four encounters, but it was Bristol City who were clear winners in the reverse fixture in September, running out comfortable 4-1 winners with Famara Diedhiou grabbing the final goal of the game.
Unfortunately for the Robins’ manager Lee Johnson, Diedhiou is one of several players set to be missing from his squad this weekend, with club captain Bailey Wright (knee) and strikers Matt Taylor (hernia) and Gustav Engvall (hip) also considered doubts for the match.
Bristol City have missed an attacking spark and have struggled for goals of late, creating a total of just 3.44 xG in their last four matches, a run of games that even included a 2-0 win over Reading.
However, despite struggling to create a host of clear-cut opportunities, Bristol City were unlucky not to get a draw from their match with Norwich City last weekend (70.32% fairness), and they shouldn’t be dismissed too lightly here.
Bristol City have a strong defence (conceded only 12.44 xG in their last 12 matches, including less than 0.5 xG on three occasions), but scoring goals is a problem at the moment. With Johnson likely to set his team up to stifle Derby’s attacking prowess, we could be set for a low-scoring encounter.
Back under 2.5 goals at 8/11