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Preview: Sheffield Wednesday vs. Derby County - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Championship clash between Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County square off in the Championship on New Year's Day with just three points separating the clubs in the Championship standings.

Despite currently occupying 22nd position, the Owls will move out of the relegation zone and above the Rams if they can record maximum points at Hillsborough.

Match preview

Derby County manager Wayne Rooney pictured in December 2020© Reuters

The last-gasp defeat against Preston North End, having held on for over 70 minutes with 10 men, would have left Derby boss Wayne Rooney full of frustration ahead of Tuesday's trip to Birmingham City.

However, in the space of 26 minutes of the game at St Andrew's, that disappointment was replaced with pride as Derby ruthlessly took apart one of their relegation rivals.

While the 4-0 scoreline will dominated the headlines, the manner of the performance is what would have impressed Rooney, whose side have now recorded seven points from their last three away matches.

Few would have had Rooney overseeing such progress in defence, but the East Midlands outfit have now conceded just one goal in their last six matches in the second tier.

Although there is much work ahead when it comes to moving out of trouble, supporters will be increasingly confident that the England legend is the right man to lead the club on a permanent basis in 2021.

The path of their opponents is far less certain with the Wednesday owners having decided to replace Tony Pulis in the dugout after just 45 days in charge.

The response to the change was the team delivering a 2-1 win against Middlesbrough, but the search is on for another permanent appointment.

From a results perspective, Wednesday have put together their best three-game spell of the campaign, picking up seven points from fixtures against Coventry City, Blackburn Rovers and the match on Tuesday night.

Nevertheless, until Pulis's successor is found, the lack of stability will leave supporters concerned about the trajectory of their club.

Sheffield Wednesday Championship form: LLLWDW

Derby County Championship form: WDDWLW

Team News

Colin Kazim-Richards celebrates scoring for Derby County against Birmingham City in the Championship on December 29, 2020© Reuters

Barring any late fitness issues, Wednesday caretaker boss Neil Thompson is unlikely to make any changes to his starting lineup.

Thompson only made two substitutes from his allotted five on Tuesday night, an indication that he may value a settled side over fresh legs.

Rooney is expected to take the same approach as his opposite number after the Rams coasted through the closing stages against Blues.

Derby will still be without forward Martyn Waghorn, who serves the second of his three-match suspension for his dismissal against Preston.

Sheffield Wednesday possible starting lineup:
Westwood; Lees, Dunkley, Palmer; Odubajo, Pelupessy, Shaw, Bannan, Harris; Windass, Paterson

Derby County possible starting lineup:
Marshall; Byrne, Wisdom, Clarke, Forsyth; Knight, Bielik. Shinnie; Sibley, Kazim-Richards, Jozwiak

SM words green background

We say: Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Derby County

After their surprise win over Middlesbrough, Wednesday will be confident of causing another surprise. However, we cannot ignore Derby's outstanding away form in recent weeks, leading us to predict a narrow away victory for the East Midlands side.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


How you voted: Sheff Weds vs Derby

Sheffield Wednesday
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Sheffield Wednesday manager Tony Pulis pictured in November 2020
Read Next:
Brian Laws suggests clash of personalities could have led to Pulis sacking
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