Derby County news: David Prutton issues frank Rams verdict ahead of Birmingham clash

David Prutton issues frank Derby County verdict ahead of Birmingham clash

Derby County will be looking to get back on track in the Championship this weekend when they host Birmingham City at Pride Park.

A dismal run of form has resulted in the Rams being dragged into a relegation dogfight by Rotherham United and Sheffield Wednesday who will both be ready to pounce on any further slip-ups.

Without a win in their last four league games, Derby could be in for a tough afternoon against Birmingham if they fail to perform at their very best as their opponents are currently thriving under the guidance of manager Lee Bowyer.

Although Derby do still possess a four point advantage over Rotherham and Wednesday in the Championship, there is still a chance that both clubs will leap-frog Wayne Rooney's side in the standings between now and the end of the campaign which would consign the club to League One football.

Whilst the Rams will be unable to call upon the services of Andrew Wisdom due to a groin injury, winger Kamil Jozwiak may be in line to make his return to action having missed his side's midweek clash with Preston North End.

Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of tomorrow's showdown, pundit David Prutton has admitted that he believes Derby will suffer a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Birmingham in what could turn out to be a significant day for sides involved in the battle to avoid relegation.

The 39-year-old said: "Derby are the side in Rotherham's sights.

"This a massive game on a massive afternoon at the bottom of the Championship.

"It could have been a worse week for Wayne Rooney's side if they have tuned in to see Rotherham beat Middlesbrough, but to see them lose will have given them a bit of a spring in their step.

"It looks like Birmingham will be relatively comfortable after an excellent run under Lee Bowyer.

"They still need a few more points to get over the line, and I think they will get them at Pride Park."

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It is difficult to disagree with Prutton's view of what may occur in this clash as Derby's performances in recent weeks have been extremely underwhelming.

Particularly disappointing during their recent 3-0 defeat to Preston, the Rams look as if they are currently devoid of any confidence and so it wouldn't be at all surprising if Birmingham clinch victory in this clash.

However, when you consider that Derby have players such as Tom Lawrence and Matt Clarke at their disposal who know exactly what it takes to achieve a positive result at this level having featured regularly in the Championship during their careers, Rooney could find it beneficial to turn to this duo for inspiration.

If the Rams can halt a run of four consecutive league defeats by securing a positive result against the Blues tomorrow, they may be able to use the momentum gained from this result to retain their second-tier status for another season next month.

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