Ipswich Town entertain Derby County tonight in front of the TV cameras and hoping to put last Saturday's disappointing defeat to Lincoln behind them. MIKE BACON takes a look at the Rams.

The story so far....

Relegated from the Championship last season after a 21-point deduction, then-boss Wayne Rooney's Rams battled hard to try and keep themselves above that drop-zone, but ultimately fell short and find themselves in League One.

Without the deduction for entering administration, and then breaching EFL accounting rules, Derby would have finished 17th in the Championship table.

In the summer, Rooney quit as manager with Liam Rosenior taking over as interim manager.

It has been a mixed start to this season for the Rams who have already lost at Charlton and Lincoln, while drawing at Fleetwood and Shrewsbury. At the end of September, Paul Warne left Rotherham to take over at Pride Park, from Rosenior.

Warne's first match was a 2-0 win at Cambridge, but it was followed by a disappointing 1-2 defeat at home to Port Vale two weeks ago, before last week the Rams were impressive 3-0 winners at Accrington.

And that's the tale of the season so far for ninth-placed Derby, a mixed bag. Six wins, two draws and four defeats. Which Rams side will show up tonight at Portman Road?

Prediction: Town 2 Derby 0.

Warne lavishes praise on Town stats

Derby boss Paul Warne has heaped praise on Town ahead of tonight's clash, admitting their stats are high.

"We’re playing one of the best teams in the league," Warne said.

"When we looked at Ipswich and how they play, they are full of confidence. They’ve got a really strong squad and have really prepared themselves for this League One fight. They are at the top of around 10 statistics we look at.

"They actually beat us in nine of the 10, so that’s where we’ve got to get to if we want to be in their position in the league.

"They keep the ball really well. They don’t just keep it, but for a reason and try to manipulate an opportunity. At times they leave virtually a front five against your five - similar to Manchester City.

"Their pressing per defensive action is the best in the league so as soon as they lose it they are coming after you to get it back, which is impressive.

"I think they’ll finish in the top two because of their strength in depth and the start they’ve had – so anyone that finishes above them is up. At the moment, we’re trying to work out where we see their weaknesses and every team has weaknesses."

Ipswich Star: Jon Nolan fires Town level against Derby. Photo: Steve WallerJon Nolan fires Town level against Derby. Photo: Steve Waller (Image: ? Copyright Stephen Waller)


Ipswich Town and Derby County have a long history of playing each other.

Indeed, the two sides have met 87 times in all competitions, stretching back to 1954, when Derby beat Scott Duncan's side 2-0 in a Division Two clash.

Town have the upper hand, with 36 wins to the Rams 29. There have been 22 draws.
Most games between the two sides are tight affairs, six of the last nine have been won by the odd goal.

However, there have been goals. And on two occasions there were eight.

On Saturday, April 24, 1976, Bobby Robson's Blues were thrashed 2-6 at home by Derby (for younger readers, note, it wasn't all sweetness and light back in those days!)

While on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, Town, under Mick McCarthy, and Derby drew 4-4 at Pride Park, on a night when the Blues somehow managed to squander a 1-4 half-time lead!

Ipswich Star: Wycombe Wanderers' Nick Freeman (left) and Derby County's David McGoldrick battle for the ball. Will former Blue, McGoldrick start tonight?Wycombe Wanderers' Nick Freeman (left) and Derby County's David McGoldrick battle for the ball. Will former Blue, McGoldrick start tonight? (Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

Rams team news

Paul Warne has some crucial decisions to make about his team selection tonight.

With Korey Smith and former Town man, David McGoldrick, back from injury, Warne's squad is starting to look a little stronger. However, they will be sweating on the fitness of Jason Knight.

He has an ankle/knee problem while Conor Hourihane has trained with a decision yet to be made on his availability after a niggle in his calf. Warne made 10 changes to his team on Tuesday night in a 1-3 EFL Trophy defeat to Manchester City U21s.

Joe Wildsmith will be expected to return in goal while James Chester, Curtis Davies and Eiran Cashin are likely to make up the back three. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Tom Barkhuizen, who were both rested on Tuesday, are also set to be involved as wing-backs.

In midfield, Max Bird should start and Smith could get the nod alongside him after playing 60 minutes against City.

Should Knight be fit then he too should take his place in the middle of the park. Up front Warne has a decision to make on whether to recall McGoldrick, but Will Osula and Lewis Dobbin were excellent in the win against Accrington Stanley last weekend.

Striker James Collins, Derby's leading scorer, is currently serving a three-match ban for a straight red card at Port Vale.

Ipswich Star: The statue of Brian Clough, left, and Peter Taylor, arm in arm at Pride Park. The pair brought huge success to the club.The statue of Brian Clough, left, and Peter Taylor, arm in arm at Pride Park. The pair brought huge success to the club. (Image: PA Archive/PA Images)

The Clough & Taylor days

Brian Clough and Peter Taylor will always be remembered as the management team that helped Derby County Football Club to its most memorable days.

In 1967, the pair took over and helped lead the Rams to its greatest decade. Starting 18th in the Second Division in 1968, Clough and Taylor won the title in 1969 and promotion to Division One.

Three years later, the Rams won their first-ever Football League Championship in 1972. Though Derby did not retain their title the following season, they did reach the semi-finals of the European Cup.

Clough's frequent outspoken comments against football's establishment eventually led to him falling out with the board of directors at the club, and Clough and Taylor left in October 1973, but solid foundations had been made and Derby won the First Division title again in 1974/75 under Dave Mackay, before by the mid-80s, things had turned, and the Rams were in the old Third Division.

However, such was Clough and Taylor's impact on the club that, 37 years later, a nine-foot bronze statue of the pair was erected outside Pride Park in commemoration of their legacy.

As part of the club's 125th Anniversary a vote was held by fans to decide Derby's all-time XI. Clough was the fans' manager choice.

What the bookies say

Town are odds-on to win this one and despite Derby's fine win at Accrington last weekend, the bookies don't over-fancy them tonight. After Town's last two defeats, you could have been forgiven for thinking the draw would be shorter. But you can get decent odds on it.

TOWN WIN: 8/11: DERBY WIN: 7/2: THE DRAW: 5/2

Ipswich Star: Actress Angelina Jolie, pictured at the UK premiere of Tomb Raider 2: Lara Croft And The Cradle Of Life. The computer character Lara Croft was created in Derby.Actress Angelina Jolie, pictured at the UK premiere of Tomb Raider 2: Lara Croft And The Cradle Of Life. The computer character Lara Croft was created in Derby. (Image: PA Archive/PA Images)

Did you know?

One of the most famous computer game characters, Lara Croft, was created in Derby. Core Design (known as Rebellion (Derby) Ltd between 2006 and 2010) created the character for her first appearance in the 1996 Tomb Raider game. Since then, Lara Croft has literally boomed across the world. Angelina Jolie played Lara Croft in the movie franchise that followed the game's success.