It has been another up-and-down season for Saturday’s visitors Derby, who arrive at Griffin Park clinging on to the final play-off place.
All those matches were home games and their home form has been better than when they have been away. In fact, they are due a Championship victory on the road as they have failed to win any of their five league away games so far in 2019. Their last away triumph was the dramatic 4-3 win at Norwich in late December.
The Rams have been led this season by former England midfielder Frank Lampard, who took over in May for his first managerial job. It will not be his first visit to Griffin Park as he played here for Chelsea in the FA Cup fourth round tie in 2013.
This is Derby’s 11th consecutive season in the Championship – and 14th out of 15 at this level.
They have finished in the top half for the last seven seasons and have had three unsuccessful play-off campaigns in that time.
WHO’S IN CHARGE
Frank Lampard needs little introduction to football fans.
As mentioned earlier, the former England captain was appointed as Derby manager at the end of May after a glittering career in which he won almost every honour in the book.
As well as being Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer with 211 goals, he won 106 caps for England, scoring 29 goals and holds the record for the most penalties scored for his country with nine.
He won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and three League Cups with the Blues as well as both the Champions League and Europa League.
Frank started his career with West Ham, and as well as a loan spell at Swansea, also played for Manchester City and New York City as well as Chelsea.
But following his retirement – after some TV pundit work, he was keen to get into management, saying at the time of his appointment: “The pull of management has always been great for me and it was only a matter of time with the right opportunity.”
Frank replaced Gary Rowett at Pride Park and signed a three-year contract.
WE’VE MET BEFORE
Brentford have played Derby every season that we have been in the Championship, but our record is not great.
We have only won three of the nine encounters, drawing another two, but losing four.
We had the upper hand in 2014/15 – following a 2-1 home win with a 1-1 draw at Pride Park – but the Rams got revenge over us the following season with a 2-0 home win and a 3-1 victory at Griffin Park.
Derby failed to score against us in 2016/17 as we picked up a midweek goalless draw in the East Midlands and followed that with a thumping 4-0 Good Friday win back in TW8.
However, the Rams have picked up seven points from our last three meetings.
We snatched a point from a game we had dominated at Griffin Park early last season on a Tuesday night. Joe Ledley headed Derby into an early lead on his debut, but we were on top after that – winning the shot count 14-3. We finally equalised through Ollie Watkins in the 86th minute to give us a 1-1 draw.
The least said about the return game the better. We lost Sergi Canos to a straight red card in the 21st minute and then Tom Huddlestone and Cameron Jerome, with his first Rams goal, scored within five minutes of each other to put Derby 2-0 up. Matej Vydra made it 3-0 with a penalty in second-half injury-time.
Things weren’t much better earlier this season as we lost 3-1 in a game in which all the goals came in the first half.
It had all started so well when Henrik Dalsgaard gave us the lead after only 44 seconds, but Harry Wilson, David Nugent and Mason Mount wrapped things up for Derby to inflict our first defeat in five games in all competitions.
BBC Radio Derby’s Derby County commentator Ed Dawes tells us how Frank Lampard has settled into management, what it would mean if the Rams missed out on promotion this season and how ex-Bee Florian Jozefzoon is doing at Pride Park.
Q – Derby’s results have been a real roller-coaster so far. How would you assess their season?
A – Appointing a novice young manager in Frank Lampard was always going to be a gamble. When the “Frank Factor” had dissipated, it was down to whether he had the tactical awareness to compete. I think he has. I think he has constructed a squad that provides exciting attacking football, but also has a tendency to concede sloppy goals.
This season will be remembered for the EFL and FA Cup runs. Beating Manchester United at Old Trafford and taking Chelsea all the way in the fourth round was impressive. Coming back twice against Southampton and winning on penalties was also memorable and the team have a never say die attitude.
Q – Why do the Rams always tend to have a slump in the final third of the campaign – is it coincidence, something psychological or something else?
Embed from Getty Images
A – Personally I have always felt that fatigue has been a factor. The fans and national media start writing and then it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Frank Lampard called out the doom-mongers in February when wins were absent, then there was steady improvement before the Rams had a 17-day break. Last week they hammered Rotherham 6-1 and I mean hammered. Their football was incredible at times and any team would have struggled to cope that afternoon.
Q – How has Frank Lampard adjusted to management?
A – He has done well. He has good people around him and advice from his dad and Uncle Harry a call away. He’s an impressive man, intelligent and calm. Oozes class in his manner with the media and only lost his cool once at Rotherham earlier in the season when he was sent off for arguing with a linesman halfway down the wing. He’s learned from that and it is good to see.
Q – What do you think are Derby’s chances of finishing in the play-offs – and then going on to win them?
A – If Derby play every game like they did against Rotherham last week then yes they can do it. But this is the Championship and we know that won’t happen. Keep Mason Mount fit and anything is possible.
Q – How big a blow would it be to the club if they fail to win promotion this season?
A – Not a massive blow. A bonus in a year of transition. They will remove around £1m from the wage bill this summer from players out of contract, many of whom haven’t played for the first team in more than a year. They are definitely coming out of the woods when it comes to an aging overpaid squad.
Q – How has ex-Bee Florian Jozefzoon done for the Rams this season?
A – Disappointing. He’s had his chances and shown a few flashes of brilliance, but then gone AWOL and found himself not involved in the squad. He’s made 15 starts in league and cup in 32 appearances and scored three goals. At 28 years old you wonder what his future holds if he can’t nail down a regular start in the Championship.
Q – What style of play can Bees fans expect to see from Derby on Saturday?
A – The million dollar question. Frank Lampard will expect a repeat of last week’s 6-1 romp. The atmosphere around the squad is positive and they have everyone fit apart from the long-term absentees. Away from home if Derby can get their fast pace attacking football going early, then it could be a good day for the Rams. If they fail to dominate the midfield they will struggle.
Q – Who are the main players who Bees fans should watch out for?
A – On-loan midfielder Mason Mount is brilliant. He dictates play and brings others into the game. Harry Wilson and Jack Marriott both suffer without Mount’s creativity and work-rate. Martyn Waghorn scored a hat-trick last weekend and has lookED strong in either a wide role or centrally. Derby have the tools, it is whether they can do the job.
Q – Finally can you tell me a likely Rams line-up and formation please?
A – Roos,
Bogle, Keogh Tomori, Malone
Lawrence, Waghorn, Holmes
BEESOTTED SCORE PREDICTIONS
Some of the Beesotted crew have given me their score predictions for Saturday’s game.
Rams to win 3-1. The Bees end their goal drought but defensive frailties are exposed again against a well-drilled Derby side hungry for a play-off place. Damo
Fiery footballing thriller finishes 3-3. Bees hungry to put things right after awful sequence of results. Derby prove tough nut to crack. Dave Washer
Bees stroll to a stinging 3-0 win against Frank Lampard’s Derby County and put an end to their play off aspirations. Maupay to end his goal drought with two, other strike from Dalsgaard. David Anderson
Bees go fifth game without scoring in 0-0 am-dram ram jam. Lou Boyd
0-0. We have lost our goalscoring mojo. Gary Paul
2-1 Bees We bounce back on a sunny day at GP. Ref causes dramas, which gets the crowd going and Canos has a great game. Everyone laughs at Lamps. Edward the Headward
PUBS IN BRENTFORD AND TRAVEL NEWS
For Derby fans coming to the game, you are probably aware there plenty of pub options pre-match and all are most welcoming and away-fan-friendly (as it should be).
As you are probably well aware, Brentford is well known for its four pubs – one on each corner of the ground.
The Griffin is closest to the away end (like 30 secs walk) and is very popular with away fans – but also very, very busy. The New Inn is on the other side and is also popular with away fans. The Princess Royal and the Royal Oak are the other options.
Other pubs slightly further afield for the more creative amongst you include (and this is by no means a definitive list) …. The Globe (Windmill Rd) & The Lord Nelson (Enfield Rd) are both incredibly friendly and cosy away-friendly pubs and about 1 min walk from each other …. frequented by ‘away fans in the know’.
The Plough (Northfields Ave) in Northfields is a decent stop-off if you are coming by tube to Northfields. The ‘Northfields run’ makes a much better pub crawl route than South Ealing – getting off at Northfields station, turning left and stopping off at The Plough (2 min walk), The Lord Nelson (10 min walk from The Plough) & The Globe (1 min walk from The Nelson) en-route before ending up at The Griffin (8 min walk from The Globe) by the away turnstiles.
There’s also a relatively new tiny microbrewery pub in Northfields called The Owl and The Pussycat (Northfields Ave)– right turn out of the station away from the ground as opposed to left.
And another new pub worth checking out is The Black Dog Beer House, formerly The Albany, on Albany Road.
There is a pub right by Brentford mainline station referred to as … the Pub by Brentford station.
For real ale head to the Magpie and Crown pub on Brentford High Street. The Royal Horseguardsman (Ealing Road) can probably hold 15 of you at a push.
The Brewery Tap (Catherine Wheel Road) is a cosy boozer by the river. And if you are super-adventurous, get off at Kew Bridge and visit One Over the Ait (Kew Bridge Road) – a spacious boozer right next to Kew Bridge, and across from the site of the Bees’ new stadium at Lionel Road, with a deck overlooking the river – and The Express Tavern (Kew Bridge Road) – an ale pub with a retro feel. There are a load more pubs in the river in Kew if that takes your fancy.
A quick Google search and you’ll find them all. There are many, many more too if you have a look around.
Parking near the stadium is a no no but is pretty easy in the streets north of Griffin Park on the other side of the A4 Great West Rd via Ealing Road or Windmill Road. Make sure you look our for the parking signs which change from area to area.
Getting to Brentford from town – many fans get the tube to Waterloo (Northern, Jubilee lines) or Vauxhall (Victoria Line) then take the Overground train to Brentford.
By tube, it’s 35 minutes to South Ealing or Northfields stations from King’s Cross or Euston (less from Paddington) and then 15 minutes walk to Griffin Park from there (4 mins on the bus) – more if you take the Northfields to Brentford
You can check out Transport for London’s guide to travel on the Tube and Overground.
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