Town skipper looks to end the season with a win at Play-Off destined Derby
Luke Chambers believes that Derby will go into Saturday’s game against the Blues with the mind-set of still finishing above their nearest rivals, Hull, in order to gain home advantage in the Play-Offs.
The Rams currently sit two points behind the Tigers going into the final league game of the season knowing that only a win would give them any chance of finishing fourth, and the skipper is looking forward to a full-house at the iPro Stadium.
“There’s still a possibility of them finishing above Hull and it’s pretty clear they will be playing each other now, but it will give them an advantage of playing at home in the second leg so I expect them to come out all guns blazing with it being the last game of the season,” he told Ipswich Player HD.
“They’ll have a full-house and there will be a bit of an atmosphere but that seems to be something we’ve thrived off in the past like we went to Middlesbrough a few weeks ago, put the cat amongst the pigeons, and disappointed them so that’ll be something we’ll look to do again.
“They’ll want to go into the Play-Offs having won the last game of the season so regardless of whether they will be home or away first that will be one of the things they’ll be going for.
“We’ve still got the chance to finish seventh, though, so if we win and Cardiff don’t we’ll do that. For the way the season’s gone, it’s been a disappointment, but it’s still a good achievement to finish seventh and it shows we’re still moving in the right direction but we need a bit of help for next year.”
Mick McCarthy confirmed that Adam McDonnell will make his league debut for the Blues in the Midlands on Saturday, and that Myles Kenlock would keep his place with Jonas Knudsen still struggling with a knee problem. Luke Chambers will return after missing the win over MK Dons last weekend but Daryl Murphy [calf] will be sidelined.
The Rams will welcome back Bradley Johnson and Jeff Hendrick for the visit of Town after they have recovered from knee and thigh injuries respectively. Goalkeeper, Lee Grant could also feature after he returned to training having had groin surgery earlier on in the season. Jamie Hanson, however, will miss out, and will do for the rest of the season, with the 20-year old dislocating his shoulder in training.
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Where They Stand
Town – 8th
Derby – 5th
Last Time they met
Tom Ince’s strike just before half-time did what was needed for the Rams as they picked up all three points at Portman Road in December. The defeat was to be the last for five matches for the Blues as they put together an impressive run over the festive period which seen them pick up wins against QPR, Brighton and Leeds, lifting themselves into the Play-Off places.
The striker looks like he is beginning to find his form again after scoring for the first time in the league since August in Saturday’s 3-2 victory over MK Dons at Portman Road. He has got three full games under his belt since returning from injury at Wolves at the beginning of the month and he looks to be proving his fitness, as well as his quality, as he looks to cement a place at the European Championships with Ireland this summer.
Russell has been in fine form of late having scored four times, and assisted a further three, in his last five matches. He is only behind Chris Martin (15) and Tom Ince (12) in terms of goals scored this season for the Rams and he seems to be hitting form at just the right time for Darren Wassall’s side as they head into the Play-Offs.
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Referee: Tim Robinson
Assistant Referees: Christopher O’Donnell & Ryan Atkin
Fourth Official: Akil Howson
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