Match Preview | Cardiff City vs. Derby County
This St. David's Day, Cardiff City host Derby County in the Welsh capital.
Our clash with the Rams will kick-off at 7:45pm on March 1st, 2022.
Opposition Focus | Season so far
It is hard not to admire the battling spirit shown by Wayne Rooney’s Derby County this season.
A quick glance at the league table shows a team in the relegation places within the Sky Bet Championship, but as all football fans are aware, this isn’t the entire story.
County have been deducted 21 points this term. Nine of those came from admitting to breaches of the EFL’s profitability and sustainability rules and 12 for entering administration.
Despite these off field setbacks, Rooney has guided his team to 10 wins, 12 draws and 12 defeats in the league this term. Without their points deductions, County would be 19 points clear of the relegation places.
They had six league fixtures in February, resulting in four defeats and two victories. Their most recent result was a 1-0 away loss at Luton Town on Saturday afternoon.
Opposition Focus: Key men
Derby's top scorer for this campaign is captain and former City loanee Tom Lawrence. The Wales international, who was given the armband in the summer, has hit the net nine times in 29 matches, starting 28 times. However, Lawrence will miss out on a return to Cardiff City Stadium through suspension, after a red card in their relegation six pointer against Peterborough United.
Central defender Curtis Davies has started every league match for Derby County during the 2021/22 season. Remarkable in itself during the hustle and bustle of the second tier, Davies has shone in defence for his team despite turning 37 on March 15th. The former West Brom, Aston Villa and Leicester City man also has four league goals to his name this term.
Nathan Byrne has been another key figure in Derby's team. The 29-year-old has started 31 times from the right side of defence in 2021/22.
Bluebirds & Rams | Club connections
City legend David Marshall moved on from Derby County in January, joining Saturday's opponents, QPR. Marshall spent seven years at Cardiff City Stadium between 2009-2016, helping the Bluebirds to promotion to the Premier League before putting in a stellar campaign in the top flight. Marshy also helped his country to EURO 2020, saving Aleksandar Mitrović's spot kick to earn Scotland a place at the tournament.
Derby also have two former Bluebirds loanees on their books - Ravel Morrison and the already referenced Tom Lawrence.
Morrison joined County in the summer, having played alongside Rooney at Manchester United at the start of his career. His time in South Wales was short, stepping out just seven times in a City shirt in 2014/15.
Lawrence's Cardiff City time came the following season, joining the Bluebirds from Leicester City for the second half of the 2015/16 campaign. While he didn't score in 14 matches, Lawrence's drive and shot in the Severnside derby victory over Bristol City gave Stuart O'Keefe an easy header to seal the win late-on.