Derby v Fulham Tips: Could Mitrovic make the difference at Pride Park?
The Championship play-offs get underway this evening with an intriguing clash between Derby County and Fulham at Pride Park.
The two teams’ league finishes would suggest that this tie can only go one way.
Fulham ended the campaign in 2nd, while Derby crept home in sixth after failing to win four of their final six matches.
But this is the play-offs, where form so often goes out of the window.
It could also be worth bearing in mind the pair’s play-off form. Fulham have fallen at the semi-final stage in all three of their previous end-of-season campaigns.
Gary Rowett’s men, on the other hand, have competed in the Championship play-offs six times and reached the final on three occasions.
Tonight’s match looks set to be tight. Neither side will want to give anything away ahead of the second-leg on Monday night.
Indeed, it’s the Cottagers defence which could be key to not just the match, but the tie as a whole.
Everyone knows how good Slavisa Jokanovic’s side are going forward with the talents of Aleksandar Mitrovic et al.
But their defensive record has gone somewhat unheralded.
The Cottagers have managed five shutouts in their last eight matches and have also kept three clean sheets in their last four away games.
Last weekend’s 3-1 defeat to Birmingham City was wholly out of character for the West Londoners.
And they’re 13/4 to Win to Nil against a Derby side that have failed to score in just under a quarter of their games this season.
At the other end, Serbian hitman Mitrovic is the man tasked with breaking the deadlock.
Derby will be looking towards veteran striker Cameron Jerome, who has netted three times in his last four matches. He’s 2/1 to Score Anytime.
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