Championship – Play Off Final
Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 15.00 GMT
Derby County vs. Queens Park Rangers
Preview by Palermo
Tomorrow, football public will focus all attention on Lisbon where the final of the Champions League will be played, but a few hours before the start of this match the Wembley Stadium will be the scene of the battle for a place in the Premier League. Derby County and Qeens Park Rangers are the teams that will clash with each other to decide which will be the 20th member of the Premier League next season, and we expect a very tough and close game.
Derby County was very convincing in the semi-final clash with Brighton, winning both games, 2-1 at Brighton and 4-1 at home. Sinking the opponents in the second leg, 4-1, gets even more important if we know that Derby County played without their second best scorer Bryson. Even four different players were goal scorers in that game at the Pride Park Stadium – three midfielders and top scorer Martin. Bryson will be in the starting line-up of Derby County and there is no doubt that they will be very dangerous in attack. As in the previous game, defenders Barker and O’Connor, as well as midfielder Coutts will miss this game.
Probable line-up of Derby County (4-3-3): Grant – Wisdom, Keogh, Buxton, Forsyth – Hendrick, Thorne, Bryson – Russell, Martin, Ward
Qeens Park Rangers have a great team and an even better manager, but they have reached the final in a much harder way than Derby County. Of course, Wigan is a strong opponent, but QPR have achieved results below expectations also in the regular season standings. Due to players injuries, Coach Redknapp cannot count on midfielders Faurlin and Jenas, as well as defender Assou-Ekotto, while left winger Traore returns to the team, which can be considered as slight reinforcement.
Probable line-up of Queens Park Rangers (4-2-3-1): Green – Simpson, Onuoha, Dunne, Hill – Barton, O’Neill – Hoillet, Kranjcar, Traore – Austin
Although Queens Park Rangers have had the role of favorites for a place in the Premier League since the start of the season, the tradition is not on their side, because only two clubs have managed to make a comeback to the Premier League in the first attempt through the playoffs. Experienced manager Harry Redknapp has at his disposal a valuable team, made up of international players, as opposed to Derby County, which is composed mostly of local players. However, Steve McClaren, who sits on the bench of Derby County, also has extensive experience in such duels, and the biggest advantage of Derby County is harmony among players. Host has celebrated both times this season, while in 48 previous matches against each other Derby County have won 17 times compared to 13 victories of Queens Park Rangers.
Victory in this match would bring profit of 100 million euros to Queens Park Rangers, while Derby County will earn even 150 million euros if win. Therefore, we can expect a very tough clash, but Derby County have shown better form lately, so I believe they will win this game.