Football betting expert Adam Goodwin (@AGJournalism) shares his verdict from Good Friday night's contest between Derby and Sunderland.
Derby v Sunderland | Friday 30th March 2018, 19:45 | Sky Sports
This is a huge clash that could have severe repercussions at the top and the bottom of the Championship table. Derby are clinging on to their play-off spot, whilst Sunderland are trying to claw their way out of the relegation zone.
There was a minor war of words between Gary Rowett and Neil Warnock this week after the postponement of the Derby vs Cardiff tie before the international break. Warnock said that Derby’s injury crisis was the reason the game was called off, and not the weather. But Rowett bit-back and questioned Warnock’s health and safety qualifications.
But the Derby injuries (and the snow) seemed to have cleared ahead of this game on Friday. The main loss for Derby over the last few weeks has been top goalscorer Matej Vydra. The Czech Republic international has been in-and-out of the Rams’ squad for the last six games, but his recurring groin injury seems to have cleared for the game versus Sunderland.
Every game Derby have won at home this season has been to nil, which is an incredible stat. Rowett’s men also have a good record when playing the bottom-ten teams in the league – winning five of their seven home games against them. This is encouraging reading for Derby fans as their side look to solidify their spot in the Championship play-offs.
The Black Cats are now five points from safety in the Championship and the reality of relegation to League One is becoming more and more daunting for the Mackems each week. Chris Coleman knew it would be a challenge when he came to the Stadium of Light, but I don’t think he anticipated it’d be as hard as this.
This week, he’s called for his Sunderland players to prove they have the mental toughness required to stay in the division. He’s also said they need an “Easter miracle”, and with the club now 1/16 for relegation, perhaps the resurrection of Jesus Christ would be more likely…
The stats make pretty grim reading for Sunderland, too. They’ve lost three of their four trips to top-six sides – one of those a 4-0 hiding at the Cardiff City Stadium – and have only picked up 2 points from a possible 18 in their last six away games.
You can’t look past a Derby win here, and I fully expect the Rams to end a run of seven games without a win and pick up three points at the iPro Stadium on Friday.
But in their last four games against the bottom ten Championship teams, the result has been either 1-0 or 2-0. So the 6/4 available on Derby to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 with Sky Bet looks great value.
Derby v Sunderland – Derby to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 (6/4 Sky Bet)