Derby County played the perfect game against Fulham in the first leg of the playoffs and the players will know what they need to do now to get the result over the line and get into the finals. The players played their role perfectly in Gary Rowett’s line-up and the wing-back formation is really working well for them.
Rowett has obviously seen how well the formation worked for Wolves this season and decided that it is the way forward.
Nevertheless, it will still be an incredibly tough second leg for the Rams. Fulham are an excellent side who never roll over and let themselves be beaten. It will be a fascinating second leg at Craven Cottage to decide who makes it through to the biggest game of the Championship season.
Probable Derby County XI
Manager: Gary Rowett
Scott Carson (GK)
Carson made two good saves to keep his side in it at Pride Park and will be looking to help his defence out again in the second leg. He will be talking to them constantly and organising them throughout the game.
Richard Keogh (CB)
Did what was required of him in the first leg but will be looking to improve in the second. In truth, he didn’t have much to do against an ineffective Sessegnon and was helped out by Wisdom.
Curtis Davies (CB)
Davies was absolutely fantastic in the first leg and it really epitomised how good he has been all season. He battled with Mitrovic throughout and pretty much constantly came out on top. Will be trying to lead his team to the final.
Craig Forsyth (CB)
Forsyth has been incredibly important to Derby since coming back into the side in the centre-back position. He has grown in confidence with the ball at his feet in every game and provided an absolutely delicious cross on to the forehead of Cameron Jerome for the only goal in the tie so far.
Andreas Weimann (LWB)
Derby just cannot find a proper answer to this LWB position. Both Olsson and Weimann have been tried in this position but with Olsson now ruled out for 9 months, it seems Weimann will have to get used to playing on the left-hand side.
Andre Wisdom (RWB)
Andre Wisdom was excellent again in the first leg and he provides good width for this Derby County team. He was also defensively good and Rowett will be looking for more of the same from him.
Tom Huddlestone (CM)
Played well in the first leg but didn’t dominate the game in the way Rowett would have wanted him to. Huddlestone will want more control in the midfield this time around.
Bradley Johnson (CM)
Johnson had a really good game in the first leg. He managed to foul every single Fulham player and only got a yellow card towards the end of the game. He was everywhere for his team.
Tom Lawrence (LAM)
Lawrence played really well again and Rowett will be hoping that he continues to play with the same pace and skill in the second leg.
Matej Vydra (RAM)
Started in the first leg but didn’t do too much of note. Has looked off-colour for a while now but he should step up here against Fulham.
Cameron Jerome (ST)
Jerome’s brilliant header is the goal that is separating the sides and he has been excellent in this recent first-team run. More of the same from him is required.