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The Big Match Preview: Middlesbrough (H)

The Rams
vs.
Boro

Pride Park Stadium

14/04/2012

15:00

The Rams face Middlesbrough at Pride Park with the faintest chance of a play-off place the incentive for another home victory.

Nigel Clough's side will probably have to win all of their remaining four games to be in with a chance of making the grade but stranger things have happened in this division.

Boro are three points ahead of the Rams but are in dire form, without a win in eight.

They also have play-off aspirations but the recent slump suggests they do not have the momentum usually required at this time of the season to climb into the top six.

Vital Quotes:

Nigel Clough has told the official club site that he wants a repeat performance of the excellent win over Leeds: 'The Easter Weekend was a demanding, intense and physically challenging period for the team with two matches inside 48 hours against Ipswich Town and Leeds United.

'I think of all the teams in the division, it was particularly testing for us because of the amount of injuries we have, which has had the squad down to the bare bones for the last month or so.

'Despite that, the players produced two excellent performances, which took us to the 60 point mark for the season.

'Both games showed the progression we've made over the campaign; against Ipswich we'd probably have lost that game last season, however, we managed to keep it tight and get a 0-0.

'At Leeds we produced a dominant display from the first whistle and deservedly got the three points. Even if Michael Brown hadn't been sent off, we think we'd have won the game anyway given our performance and the chances we created.

'Our performance was superb and to get two goals and a clean-sheet adds to everyone's confidence at the moment, which is exactly what I want the players to take into the next game against Middlesbrough, and the final three games after that.'

The Rams Team News:

Nigel Clough will pick from an unchanged squad after seeing them perform so well against Leeds United.

Steven Davies, who scored minutes after coming on as a substitute, will be pushing for a starting spot.

Player to watch: Steven Davies

Striker Davies has stepped up to the plate this season with 11 goals, despite missing a chunk of the season through injury.

He has surely silenced the doubters who said he could not play as a centre forward.

Boro Team News:

Boro defender Joe Bennett will not feature for Tony Mowbray's side after picking up his 10th booking of the season.

Belgian midfielder Faris Haroun's hamstring injury could keep him sidelined on Saturday.

Player to watch: Barry Robson

Former Celtic midfielder Robson has proven to be an excellent performer at this level and has scored numerous spectacular goals with his trusty left foot.

He will leave Boro at the end of the season to sign with Vancouver Whitecaps after agreeing a move to Canada.

Match Facts & Stats

Derby County last 5:

Leeds United (a) 2-0

Ipswich Town (h) 0-0

Bristol City (a) 1-1

Crystal Palace (h) 3-2

Brighton & Hove Albion (a) 0-2



Middlesbrough last 5:

Hull City (a) 1-2

Cardiff City (h) 0-2

Brighton & Hove Albion (a) 1-1

Ipswich Town (a) 1-1

Bristol City (h) 1-1

Next Fixtures:

Cardiff City vs. Derby County, Tue 17th April, 19:45pm, The Championship


Writer:RobB
Date:Friday April 13 2012
Time: 4:50PM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 38 24 6 8 78 38
2 Brighton 38 23 8 7 77 30
3 Huddersfield 37 22 5 10 71 4
4 Leeds Utd 38 21 6 11 69 16
5 Reading 38 20 7 11 67 2
6 Sheff Wed 38 18 8 12 62 9
7 Fulham 38 16 13 9 61 19
8 Norwich 38 16 9 13 57 9
9 Preston 38 15 12 11 57 6
10 Derby County 38 14 11 13 53 3
11 Barnsley 38 14 9 15 51 0
12 Aston Villa 38 13 12 13 51 0
13 Cardiff 38 14 9 15 51 -1
14 Brentford 38 14 8 16 50 3
15 Q.P.R. 38 14 8 16 50 -5
16 Wolves 37 12 9 16 45 -2
17 Ipswich 38 10 15 13 45 -9
18 Birmingham 38 11 12 15 45 -16
19 Bristol City 38 11 8 19 41 -3
20 Forest 38 11 8 19 41 -11
21 Burton 38 10 11 17 41 -14
22 Blackburn 38 9 13 16 40 -11
23 Wigan 38 8 10 20 34 -13
24 Rotherham 38 4 5 29 17 -54
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