"A chance for redemption": Derby County vs Shrewsbury preview
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Derby County go into this weekend in second place and one of the most in form sides in League One.
They face a Shrewsbury Town side this weekend who are the joint-lowest scoring team in the league. Its a game that the Rams will be expected to win, especially so that they can put more pressure on their promotion rivals.
Paul Warne's side are looking for thier third win in a row and fourth home win in a row as they sit just four points behind league leaders Portsmouth.
A chance for redemption
The last time that Derby County faced Shrewsbury Town, it has to be considered one of the worst performances of the season so far.
The Rams put in a lacklustre display even though they had well over 60% of the ball throughout the game.
A Conor Hourihane own goal led to a 1-0 win for the Shrews which resulted in a row between the Derby County captain and the Rams fans after the game.
Hourihane has since said that he was simply standing up for his teamates. In the altercation he was quoted to say "we are doing our best", however since then Derby have really picked up.
They are one of the most in form sides in League One and have shot up the table ever since. Whether the row and poor performance had an impact on the players, we will never know, but this weekend is a chance to show how much the players have improved.
Hope for the Shrews
Derby's opponents Shrewsbury Town aren't in a great position at the moment. They currently sit in 16th place and are the joint-lowest scoring side in League One.
Because of the poor form, the Shrews sacked manager Matt Taylor in January. They now have Paul Hurst who is back for his second spell in charge at Shrewsbury.
During his first spell with the club, in 2018, Hurst managed to get Shrewsbury to the playoff final in League One which for such a small club, is very impressive.
Ironically, on that day, his side lost to Paul Warne's Rotherham United team, Hurst will be hoping to get his revenge over his conterpart this weekend.
Because of the new manager, the Shrews will be feeling a lot of optimism and so could prove to be a tougher test than they seem on paper.
Regardless of the cliche of a new manager bounce, Derby are firm favourites for Saturday's clash and should be feeling positive ahead of the game.
Paul Warne's second placed Rams are the second-highest scoring team and have the second-best defensive record, they should be able to keep control of the game if it goes the way of the stats.
A 2-0 or 2-1 score could be on the cards which could potentially put Derby just one point behind league leaders Portsmouth.
Derby County vs Shrewsbury Town kicks off at 3pm on Saturday 10 January