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Opposition report: Derby County

There's a familiar face in the Derby dugout that takes the shape of former Manchester United and England star Wayne Rooney.

BCFC

A closer look at this afternoon's opposition....

Form Guide

Despite starting the season as heavy play-off favourites, perhaps surprisingly, the Rams currently occupy one of the Sky Bet Championship's relegation spots as we head into the New Year. They've won just three games all season, drawing seven and losing the other ten. 

Despite wins over Swansea City and Millwall this month, Derby had been on a winless streak in the league before that, which stretched on for almost two months. 

The East Midlanders are also the league's lowest scorers - they've dispatched just ten goals all season long, conceding 23. 

Two of their three wins have come away from their home ground. 

IN THE DUGOUT 

There's a familiar face in the Derby dugout that takes the shape of former Manchester United and England star Wayne Rooney. Whilst his managerial experience is fairly limited, he boasts a strong CV when it comes to his on-the-pitch exploits.  

And it's the vast number of trophies won as a player Rooney hopes to bring to his managerial reign - which has gotten off to a tough start at Derby. 

Rooney was been placed in temporary charge of the Rams alongside Liam Rosenior, Shay Given and former Derby youth coach Justin Walker in the middle of the November after the sacking of Phillip Cocu. 

It's a job Rooney says he wants full-time but right now, he's very much at the helm temporarily. 

ONE TO WATCH 

With a colourful CV that's seen him play for over 15 clubs throughout his professional career, it's safe to say veteran striker Colin Kazim-Richards raised a few eyebrows when he made the move to Derby in October. 

After an on-off start, the 34-year-old has been more impressive in recent weeks, scoring two in his last five Sky Bet Championship appearances. 

But it's off the ball where he's given Derby a little more as their form has improved. Physically, he's a presence in the final third and he'll be looking to repay the recent faith shown in him by Rooney, where he's been a regular starter. 

LAST TIME OUT 

Blues' last Derby test came on the final day of last season, where the Rams came out 3-1 winners at St. Andrew's. The match in which Jude Bellingham made his final appearance for the Club.

Graeme Shinnie - the brother of former Blues man Andy - gave Derby the lead, before Ivan Sunjic levelled. But a late goal from Morgan Whittaker and a stoppage-time effort from Louie Sibley saw the Rams take all three points.

PREVIOUS KNOCKINGS

Fixtures between Blues and Derby have been frequent since their first known clash, which came all the way back in 1885 - which ended in a Small Heath Alliance victory in the FA Cup.

Since then, there have been a further 119 fixtures between the two sides. Derby shade the head-to-head record - they've won 48 of the matches, Blues have been victorious on 40 occasions and there have been 36 draws.

Blues have beaten Derby only once in 9 attempts since a 3-0 win back 2016.

DID YOU KNOW? 

On the 8th September 1888, the first ever football league matches were played.

Derby County were away to Bolton Wanderers for their first ever league game, and came away 6-3 winners.

No league table was ever actually published after the first ever league fixtures, but based on modern day calculations, Derby County would’ve topped the table due to their goal difference and goals scored.

Elsewhere in the first ever round of games, Everton beat Accrington 2-1, Wolves and Aston Villa drew 1-1, whilst Preston thrashed Burnley 5-2, and West Brom won 2-0 away at Stoke.

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