Manchester United are set to meet with Derby County for the second consecutive season. After the League Cup meeting in late 2018, when Derby came to Old Trafford and won after penalties, they defeated Jose Mourinho’s uninspiring side.
Now, more than a year later, they will be hosting the Red Devils, but with another big name in the conversation. This time, they will have Wayne Rooney by their side. The Man United legend will be part of the opposing side, who will want to make another surprise against the Devils and reach the FA Cup quarterfinals.
The winner of that match will play Norwich City at Carrow Road, after they defeat Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur.
How Are They Doing This Season?
After 36 rounds of the Championship season, Derby are not doing ideally. They are currently in 13th place, with 12 wins, 12 draws and 12 losses, but they are also eight points away from Preston North End. Preston are currently in sixth, the final place that leads to play-offs.
With 30 points left to fight for, it looks unlikely for Rams to have a realistic chance of reaching the play-offs. They have scored 46 goals in the league, which is not enough, considering even Stoke City, who are currently just above relegation zone, have scored 44. Their attack has not been as good as last season.
But then again, last year they had Frank Lampard in the dugout and players like Harry Wilson (now at Bournemouth) and Mason Mount (at Chelsea).
Which System Are They Using?
Their coach is the well known former Dutch footballer, Phillip Cocu. He used to work at PSV Eindhoven and now he is trying to improve this Derby side. Cocu already led Derby in over 40 matches and unsurprisingly, his favoured formation is a typical 4-2-3-1. Occasionally, he did change a bit this season, sometimes playing with variations of a 4-4-2 and once even in a 3-5-2. But it would not be realistic to expect those systems, a 4-2-3-1 is better suited to his team.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka will have to battle with Tom Lawrence, who plays as left winger and is one of their best players. Youngsters Matthew Clarke and Jadon Bogle have been regulars in the backline and Duane Holmes is often alternating between central and attacking midfield.
Who Are Their Best Players?
Tom Lawrence is probably the best one and he has scored nine goals and added three assists from the wing, whilst their attacker should be also paid attention to. That is Martyn Waghorn, a 30-year-old Englishman who has 12 Championship goals by his name. He is also a unique player, because not only is he a striker, but very often he is not playing in that position.
Cocu has used him as a right winger in a dozen games and he can pop up anywhere on the pitch, as well.
Derby have only one win in their last five matches and are not really going into this match full of confidence. Sure, they did beat Sheffield Wednesday last week, but this Derby has somewhat declined from that contender for the promotion to Premier League.