Two promotion hopefuls will meet at Pride Park on Tuesday evening under the lights as Derby County take on Bristol City in what will be a fascinating encounter. Only four points separated the two sides in the last campaign, as the Rams and the Robins tussled with each other in pursuit of the sixth play-off spot.
It was Frank Lampard’s Derby County that were victorious in that battle, and came ever-so-close to reaching the Premier League, only denied by a Wembley defeat to Aston Villa.
Understandably, Derby are one of the hot-favourites for promotion this season, while Bristol City are equally confident of success, albeit in a more characteristically surreptitious manner. Both clubs have seen vast changes in personnel with Derby making seven signings, as well as the appointment of a new manager.
Meanwhile, Lee Johnson’s Bristol City made 12 acquisitions this summer. The Rams and the Robins have enjoyed decent, but underwhelming starts to the 2019/20 campaign, and are unlikely to hit their stride until all their new players have gelled.
Derby will be confident of victory in Tuesday’s encounter, having only lost once against the west-country side in their last 12 meetings. Indeed, the last fixture came in pre-season as the Rams recorded a victory over the Robins in Florida, USA. However, since then, City have added a number of key players to their ranks, including Benik Afobe and Adam Nagy, and will subsequently be a stronger force to reckon with.
While it is too early in the season to label a fixture a ‘six-pointer’, neither club will want to lose to a promotion-rival and give them three crucial points.