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Let’s talk about…Derby County



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Following Wednesday’s defeat to Fulham, the Swans travel to face Derby County this weekend. Despite the score, Swansea performed well against the league favourites, but still suffered their fourth league defeat of the season. Jamie Paterson scored his third league goal since joining, but Aleksandar Mitrovic’s first-half hattrick gave the hosts all three points.

Meanwhile, Derby find themselves in 24th place following a 12-point deduction. They have picked up 13 points this season, but the deduction sees them at the foot of the table with just one point, seven adrift of safety. Amidst the uncertainties, Derby kicked off with a 1-1 draw with Huddersfield, before a 2-1 loss to Peterborough. They followed that with a 1-0 win at Hull, before back-to-back draws with Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest. They started September with a 2-0 loss to Birmingham, followed by a 0-0 draw with West Brom and a 2-1 win over Stoke City. They lost 1-0 to Sheffield United, before picking up all three points on Wednesday night at home to Reading.

Their transfer window

First team arrivals

Derby’s financial situation has limited them to a series of free transfers.

They brought in 29-year-old goalkeeper Ryan Allsop from Wycombe as their backup keeper, although a red card for regular starter Kelle Roos saw Allsop start last Wednesday.

Richard Stearman arrived after leaving Huddersfield. The 34-year-old defender has made four starts and two substitute appearances this season.

Once a hot prospect at England Under-21 level, Ravel Morrison has struggled to live up to his earlier hype since leaving West Ham for Lazio in 2015. Now aged 28, he joined Derby after a brief spell at Den Haag. He also played seven games for Cardiff City in 2014.

After spending three years at Reading, Sam Baldock departed for Derby in the summer. The 32-year-old forward scored 34 in 83 games while at Bristol City, before spending four years at Brighton. He joined Reading in 2018, where he scored 10 in 65.

Derby have signed several veteran players this season, but none more so than Phil Jagielka. The 39-year-old centre-back picked up 40 England caps between 2008-2016. He spent seven years with Sheffield United before joining Everton in 2007. There, he played 385 games in all competitions, before returning to Sheffield United in 2019. He played 16 Premier League games in his second spell at the club, before completing his move to Derby in August.

First team departures

Derby lost many first-team players over the summer, with their financial situation requiring them to cut costs.

After six years and more than 150 league games, Scott Carson departed Derby for Premier League champions Manchester City. The 36-year-old keeper spent the last two seasons on loan at his new club, making just one appearance in all competitions. In 2018-19, he started 30 Championship games for Derby.

Also departing at the end of June was Florian Jozefzoon. The Suriname international completed a move to Quevilly-Rouen in the French second tier. He joined Derby from Brentford in 2018 for a fee of £2.75 million, spending last season on loan at Rotherham.

Scott Malone re-joined Millwall after three years with the Rams. He made 45 league appearances for Derby in a three-year spell. The ex-Cardiff man has started in all ten games for Millwall so far.

After spending last season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday, Jack Marriott completed his return to newly promoted Peterborough United. The 27-year-old forward scored 27 goals in 44 League One games for Peterborough in 2017-18, earning him a move to Derby. There, he scored 10 in 69 games, before returning to his former club on 1st July.

They will also be tasked with replacing the goals scored by Martyn Waghorn. In 2019-20, he finished as their top scorer with 12 goals in 43 Championship outings.  He left for Coventry City, where he has started in seven games, scoring once in a 2-0 win over Middlesbrough.

Lastly, they released Jordon Ibe after a brief spell at the club. Once a highly exciting prospect, Ibe left Liverpool for Bournemouth in 2016 for a then-club-record £15 million. He spent the 2014-15 season on loan at Derby, scoring five in 25 games, although he made just one appearance in his second spell.

Their captain

Swansea fans will be familiar with Derby’s captain from his experience at international level. Tom Lawrence has played 23 times for Wales. He was set to feature at Euro 2016 but was ruled out through injury prior to the squad announcement.

He began his career at Manchester United, first joining at the age of 8. He made his only Premier League start for the club in a 3-1 win against Hull City in May 2014, under interim manager Ryan Giggs.

While at United, he enjoyed loan spells at Carlisle United and Yeovil Town, before joining Leicester City for around £1.1 million. However, much of his time was spent on loan. He had spells in the Championship with Rotherham United, Blackburn Rovers, Cardiff City and Ipswich Town.

The 27-year-old winger joined Derby in 2017 for an estimated £4.95 million. He has since scored 27 goals in 154 games, including 26 in 140 Championship outings.

Their manager

Without a doubt, the highest profile manager in the Championship is Derby County’s Wayne Rooney. The 35-year-old finished his career as one of the highest scoring players in Premier League history, while also representing England on 120 occasions.

He began his career at Everton, emerging onto the scene as a teenager. Five days before turning 17, he scored a last-minute winner against Arsenal, making him the youngest scorer in Premier League history at the time. He went on to make 67 Premier League appearances for Everton, scoring 15 goals.

In 2004, he joined Manchester United for an initial £20 million. He was just 18 years old when he left his boyhood club. He scored 11 Premier League goals in his debut season, as well as bagging three in six in his debut Champions League campaign.

Rooney went on to spend 13 seasons at the club, scoring 183 goals in 393 Premier League games, 39 in 98 games in Europe and 27 in 60 domestic cup outings. He won five Premier League titles, one Champions League, one Europa League, one FA Cup, three EFL Cups, four Community Shields and one FIFA Club World Cup. He is also Manchester United and England’s all-time leading scorer.

He made a brief return to Everton in 2017, spending one year at his boyhood club. He scored ten league goals that season, his best goal tally for the club. One year later, he joined MLS side DC United, famously owned by Swansea’s American owners. He spent two seasons at the clubs, scoring double figures in both campaigns.

In what was a major coup for the Rams, Rooney joined Derby as a player-coach in August 2019. He played 30 Championship games for the club, scoring six goals. However, he was named as interim manager in November 2020, removing himself from the playing squad. Although he didn’t rule out returning to the team at first, he retired from playing in January 2021 after being named the permanent manager. They finished 21st last season, narrowly avoiding relegation after finishing one point above Wycombe Wanderers.

Previous meetings with Derby County

Swansea entered last season with a poor record against Derby. Since their relegation in 2018, Swansea had picked up just two points in their previous four meetings with the East-Midlands club.

16th December 2020

In mid-December, high-flying Swansea travelled to struggling Derby County, with the hosts looking for their first home win of the season.

From the first minute, Derby completely outplayed the Swans, opening the scoring inside four minutes through Colin Kazim-Richards. Swansea withstood significant pressure, before conceding a second in the 37th minute from Kamil Jozwiak.

Swansea improved somewhat in the second half, but the score-line remained the same, with the hosts securing their first home win at the expense of Steve Cooper’s Swans.

Final score – Derby County 2-0 Swansea City

 1st May 2021

In the penultimate game of the 2020-21 season, Derby visited the Liberty Stadium, with both sides at opposite ends of the table. Swansea had already secured a playoff spot, while Derby were in desperate need of points to avoid relegation.

After a goalless first half, it was the visitors who opened the scoring; captain Tom Lawrence headed home inside three minutes of the second half.

Morgan Whittaker joined Swansea from Derby in February 2021, and it was against his former club that he scored his first league goal. He headed Swansea level after 63 minutes, before Connor Roberts’ exquisite volley gave the Swans the lead just three minutes later.

Jamal Lowe thought he’d made it 3-1, but it was ruled out for offside. However, Swansea held on, moving up to fourth in the table.

Final score – Swansea City 2-0 Derby County

Match Preview

After ten games, Swansea have just two wins. Their last home win came at Bristol City in August. Following the midweek defeat, a win is imperative this weekend, with the Swans just two points clear of the relegation zone.

Olivier Ntcham looks set to miss out after picking up a minor hamstring injury, while Michael Obafemi and Ryan Bennett may also miss out. All three are expected to be fit for the South Wales derby.

The Swans defence looked suspect at times on Wednesday, conceding three first half goals to Aleksandar Mitrovic. Fortunately, Swansea will not be reunited with the prolific Serbian striker until January. Derby are the league’s joint-lowest scorers with just seven goals; centre-back Curtis Davies is their leading scorer with two goals, while Joel Piroe has scored five league goals already for the Welsh club.

Expect a cagey game, with Derby proving resolute despite their off-field issues. Swansea will need to be weary of their set-piece threat, while Tom Lawrence and Ravel Morrison both possess the quality to cause concern to a somewhat makeshift Swansea defence.

Swansea will have to wait a fortnight before their next game, with the international break coming up. The next Championship game is the biggest of the year; the first South Wales derby of the season. Swansea host Cardiff City at the Swansea.com Stadium at 12pm on Sunday, 17th October.


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Matt Williamshttps://mjwwrites.wordpress.com/
My name is Matt Williams. I am a 24-year-old journalism graduate and aspiring sports journalist from South Wales. I am a fan of Swansea City, and regularly write about the team on my own personal blog. I also support the Carolina Panthers, and I am an avid follower of the Welsh national teams in football and rugby.

Swansea City v Hull City, EFL Championship



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