Preview: Five talking points ahead of Derby County v Bolton Wanderers

Following their narrow defeat to Birmingham City on Tuesday, Bolton Wanderers will be looking to bounce back when they travel to Pride Park to face Derby County on Saturday.

With the Whites looking to climb the table and pull themselves away from the chasing pack, picks out five talking points ahead of the visit to the East Midlands.

1. Away Fortunes

Despite the narrow defeat to Leeds on Good Friday, Wanderers’ away record has improved in recent weeks.

The Whites have picked up points in three of their last four away games, drawing against Norwich, Reading and Sheffield Wednesday.

Another result this Saturday would go a long way however and give the outstanding travelling fans more to cheer about.

2. Derby’s Form

Despite sitting in the play-off places, Derby’s 1-0 win at Preston North End on Monday was their first since early February.

The Rams had recorded three losses and five draws in their previous eight matches before their recent victory.

The match should certainly be an entertaining one too - there have been 28 goals in Derby’s last 10 games, with Gary Rowett’s side scoring 13 and conceding 15.

3. Top Ten Successes

Since the beginning of December, Wanderers have enjoyed an excellent spell against the teams in the current top ten of the Sky Bet Championship.

The Whites have picked up four wins and a draw in their last seven matches against the league’s best, keeping a clean sheet in each of their wins against Cardiff (2-0), Sheffield United (1-0), Bristol City (1-0) and Aston Villa (1-0), whilst also drawing with in-form Fulham (1-1).

And with the Rams currently sat in fifth place, Phil Parkinson’s men have the chance to extend an already impressive record.

4. Time For Revenge

Wanderers’ last visit to Pride Park was almost two years to the day, a 4-1 defeat which unfortunately sealed the Whites’ relegation to League One.

Zach Clough scored a penalty in a match that saw Johnny Russell, Tom Ince and Jacob Butterfield strike for then-promotion-chasing Derby.

With the team in a better position this time around, Saturday’s match would be the perfect opportunity to avenge that day and take a big step closer towards the finishing line this term.

5. The Chance To Become A Hero

Wanderers travel to Derby County without the injured Darren Pratley and Jan Kirchhoff, but Karl Henry is available despite limping off against Birmingham City.

With his side needing to get the job done without two of their more influential names, manager Phil Parkinson has called on his players to stand up and “become a hero”.

He believes that any match-winning moments in this final run in will compare to Jem Karacan’s famous goal against Peterborough United that helped secure automatic promotion last season.

“If this group of players can produce something to keep us above that line they will be remembered for a very long time,” he added.

So to those travelling to Pride Park this weekend or supporting the team from afar,  be loud, be proud and back the boys!

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