MATCH PREVIEW: CARDIFF CITY v DERBY COUNTY
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium
Date: Saturday, 2nd April 2016, 3:00pm K.O.
The biggest home crowd of 2015/16 is expected, with the Bluebirds doing battle against Sky Bet Championship Play-Off rivals Derby County tomorrow afternoon - (TICKETS HERE)!
With pre-season expectations high following a busy summer in the transfer market, the Rams have competed towards the top of the table this term, but are seven points adrift from the division's automatic promotion places. A six-game winless run in December and January saw Derby drop from second to fifth place, with Paul Clement being replaced by Academy Director Darren Wassall.
Some of the aforementioned summer signings made by Derby include Andreas Weimann and Bradley Johnson from Premier League clubs Aston Villa and Norwich City. Darren Bent and Tom Ince also joined the Rams permanently in the summer window, after loan spells with the club in 2014/15. In the more recent January window, County acquired striker Nick Blackman from Reading, along with left-back Marcus Olsson from Blackburn Rovers.
Similarly to last season, front man Chris Martin leads the Derby goal-scoring charts, with thirteen League strikers this term. Tom Ince is close behind with ten, whilst Jacob Butterfield has six. Martin also has the most assists this league season, with six. At the back, the Rams have seventeen clean sheets from their thirty-eight League games so far.
Legendary City striker Robert Earnshaw began his career with the Bluebirds in 1998. The ‘Zambian Prince’ went on to score a remarkable 86 League goals in 146 games. Earnie then joined West Bromwich Albion, before moving on to Norwich City, and then Derby, where he made 22 appearances in 2007-08.
Another former striker who has played for both clubs is Kenny Miller. The Scot joined the Rams in 2007, and like Earnshaw, only stayed at Pride Park for one season. He moved back to Scotland with Rangers, before signing for Cardiff in 2011. Kenny led the line for the Bluebirds in 2011/12, scoring 10 League goals.
Chris Riggott had two spells with the Rams: firstly from 1999-03, then in 2011-12. But did you know that Chris also featured for the Bluebirds? The central defender signed for Cardiff in September 2011, and featured twice that season, before leaving the Club due to his unfortunate injury troubles.
Cardiff City 4-1 Derby County
Cardiff City Stadium, Saturday 2nd April 2011
Five years ago to the day of tomorrow’s fixture, the Bluebirds resoundingly defeated the Rams on home soil.
City went ahead after seven minutes, with Jay Bothroyd on the score-sheet once again. Craig Bellamy received the ball in the box and strode past Shaun Barker, before being upended by the defender. Bothroyd confidently dispatched the spot-kick into the bottom corner.
After the break, Dekel Keinan made it 2-0, with a powerful header from Chris Burke’s corner. The win was all but secured on 56 minutes, with another defender finding the back of the net. This time it was Paul Quinn, who made an excellent run before finishing well in the centre of the box.
A spectacular volley from Peter Whittingham made it 4-0 to the Bluebirds. Chris Burke’s flick set up Whittingham, who powered the ball into the top left-hand corner. Robbie Savage added a consolation for Derby from the penalty spot, but it was Cardiff who comfortably took all three points.
Watch highlights of City's 6-1 victory over Derby County in 2009 below...