Derby County prepare to face "dangerous" Exeter City side

Derby County vs Exeter City kicks off at 7.45pm on Tuesday 13 February
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Derby County make the long journey to Exeter City this evening as they look to bounce back from dropping points to Shrewsbury at the weekend.

They conceded a late equaliser which prevented the Rams from taking three points from that game. However, despite that, Paul Warne's side sit in second place just six points behind leaders Portsmouth.

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Tonight's game could provide a tougher test to what they faced against Shrewsbury as Exeter City find themselves in excellent form.

Gary Caldwell's team have won four from five games including wins against promotion chasing Barnsley and Peterborough United.

Risk of falling behind

Derby have dropped points in three of their past five games and despite their lofty league position face a risk of falling behind.

They are already six points away from the top spot and the chance to catch Portsmouth will get slimmer and slimmer if they continue dropping points.

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More of a worry for Paul Warne is that promotion rivals Bolton Wanderers have two games in hand on the Rams. Stevenage and Barnsley both have one game in hand too which could cause issues for Derby if their rivals were to win those games.

Derby County manager Paul Warne wasn't happy with the way that the Rams dropped points in Saturday's game against Shrewsbury TownDerby County manager Paul Warne wasn't happy with the way that the Rams dropped points in Saturday's game against Shrewsbury Town
Derby County manager Paul Warne wasn't happy with the way that the Rams dropped points in Saturday's game against Shrewsbury Town

Tonight's game could be an ideal chance for the Rams to bounce back after the short turnaround from their draw at the weekend.

Hottest team in the league

It could be argued that Exeter City are the hottest team in League One right now. The Grecians have turned their season around recently after they spent much of the first part of the year languishing around the lower echelons of the table.

Gary Caldwell has been able to drag them out of the hole that they found themselves in without the need for dramatic change at the club which is very impressive.

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He will be hoping for a better result than the last time that Derby and Exeter met, when the Rams won 2-0 in what was visually one of the best performances from the Rams all season long.

Predictions

It would be wrong to say that because Derby looked so good against Exeter last time that tonight will be more of the same.

The Grecians are a dangerous side that play with a tough to beat mantra, they don't tend to score many goals but they manage to sit in and absorb a lot of pressure.

With the Rams fluctuating in recent weeks, they will need to capitalise on the attacking chances that they do manage to create as they may not get too many.

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A 1-0 or 1-1 scoreline could be likely in a game that Derby will need to be at their best to win.

Tonight's clash kicks off at 7.45pm at St James' Park and is available on a pay-per-view basis on Rams TV.