Derby County hosts Watford in round 5 of the English Championship. The match will be played on Friday, October 16th at Pride Park (Derby)
Under Frank Lampard, the Rams reached the playoffs for the right to promote to the Premier League. But the specialist returned to Chelsea, and Philip Koku was called in his place. With the Dutchman, Derby County slipped to the middle of the standings (to 10th place). And the start of the new season was completely failed. And not only in the Championship. Having beaten Barrow on penalties with great difficulty, Derby County lost to Preston in the League Cup at home (1-2). In the championship, the Rams didn’t manage to earn points in the first three rounds in a row. Only on October 3, they managed to beat Norwich thanks to the goal of the legendary Wayne Rooney in the 87th minute. Was Koku able to use the pause to get his team going? And what credit of trust does Philip have - isn't it the last chance?
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The Hornets have spent their last years in the elite. And the 2018/2019 season raised optimistic hopes, but they turned into a complete fiasco in the form of inglorious relegation in 2020. Of course, many players left after such a failure. Holebas, Dukure, Roberto Pereira, Deulofeu, Dawson and others moved to other clubs. But there are newcomers, and the task is clear. By the end of this season, the owners want to see their project again in the Premier League. To solve this task, they called Vladimir Ivic. So far, the dubious bet on the Serb has not been particularly justified. Watford has already managed to leave the League Cup. And it shows very boring football in the Championship when the fight is for the first goal scored. The Hornets managed to beat Middlesbrough and Luton at home (1:0 in both matches), and there was a goalless away draw with Sheffield Wednesday. In the last round, Watford suffered a 0-1 defeat in Reading. With such "successes", it will be difficult to get into the Premier League next spring.
Derby looks like a problematic project, and it's not apparent that the situation has improved dramatically during the pause for the matches of national teams. But Watford is unlikely to change the pragmatic style that he showed in the first part of the fall. I think the upcoming game is unlikely to be rich in goals.
Prediction for the match: Under 2.5 goals scored