Derby County v Norwich City Preview

Derby County v Norwich City Preview

My first recollections of the Rams go back to being a nine year old in 1972 when of course the Rams became Football League Champions under the reigns of the mighty Brian Clough.

Being a fledgling keeper it was great to see Colin Boulton flying about in the mud between the sticks and Kevin Hector mesmerising defences up front. I loved visiting the Baseball Ground, a proper compact football cauldron to witness passionate football and nothing like the sterile, characterless Pride Park which is used today.

Norwich City have an impressive record having won 28 games, drawn 17 and only losing 20 although Derby have edged it in recent years. It's a chance for payback having lost 2-1 at Carrow Road in October.

A stand out game for City fans is the April 2011 Championship fixture with City needing a win to make another potential short term venture into the Premier League a strong possibility. 1-0 up and then 2-1 down, a last minute corner and a scrambled Simion Jackson finish created a hat trick which made the yellow and green house rock to a 3-2 victory and brought the Derby players down onto their knees.

Derby County have benefited from a few ex Norwich City players in recent years... our forever hero and Goliath of a footballer, Bradley Johnson, the solid Jason Shackell, underused Jacob Butterfield and the dependable Marc Edworthy. The most recent acquisition is Cameron Jerome. He has had some very successful Championship seasons with City accompanied by awful, ineffective seasons in the Premier League. We will always thank him for his brilliant finish to kick of the Wembley celebrations in beating Middlesbrough in the play final.

In general though and certainly over the last three seasons, he has generally worked his socks off, been regularly out of position and produced very little finishing technique. In my opinion I feel he just isn't selfish enough in front of goal. In the Premier League he needed five good chances in order to produce goal. I do however wish him well, just not on Saturday.

The current Norwich system works best away. A strong defence and capability to counter. The three new Germans added in the transfer window have already gelled and added important competition to the squad. We are also enjoying just one defeat in the last seven games.

Expect a dull drawn out game and a 1-0 City victory. If City don't make the playoffs, I will be more than happy for the Rams to have another jolt with the big boys.

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