Derby County’s Under-23s will be aiming to take a giant stride towards Premier League 2 Division safety when they take on West Ham United in their final home game of the 2017/18 season.
The Rams take on the Hammers at the Training Centre in partnership with the University of Derby (kick-off: 3pm) and dcfc.co.uk has pulled together all the information you are going to need to know ahead of kick-off…
WHAT’S THE LATEST TEAM NEWS
Darren Wassall looks like to be in position to name a strong as possible Under-23s side for the meeting with West Ham United.
The only player he will certainly be without is Kyle McAllister, who is struggling with a groin injury
The likes of Jayden Bogle and Luke Thomas could feature.
SETTING THE SCENE
Derby County’s Under-23s have their destiny in their own hands as they look to cement their position in Premier League 2 Division 1 for the 2018/19 season.
With just two games remaining, the Rams know a win over West Ham United will move them back out of the relegation places heading into the final game and relegate Manchester United in the process ahead of a final day meeting with league leaders Leicester City.
Darren Wassall’s side defeated West Ham United 5-1 at the London Stadium and Craig Short told us that it is one of the finest results the Under-23s have enjoyed in their time as a Category 1 Academy.
The Under-23s’ assistant coach, however, is expecting a very different challenge from the Hammers this time around – especially with them arriving buoyed by their recent 4-0 win over reigning champions Everton.
“It (the London Stadium) was a nice place to do it. But we had to sit very deep and defend for long periods of time, especially in the second-half they had a very good striker who Joe Bateman had a good battle with,” Short told RamsTV.
“Then we got all our goals on the break and I think a lot of our chances and goals we score are transition on the break. We had Offrande’s pace that day and he caused them a few problems.
“But West Ham will be a bit of a different proposition on Monday, I’m sure, after what they did to Everton. So our lads are up for the challenge.”
Read Craig Short and Alex Babos’ full pre-match interviews now on dcfc.co.uk.
LAST TIME OUT AGAINST THE HAMMERS?
WEST HAM UNITED U23s 1-5 DERBY COUNTY U23s
Friday 17th November, 2017
Offrande Zanzala returned from his loan spell at Chester to score twice and lead Derby County’s Under-23s to a stunning 5-1 win at the London Stadium against West Ham United back in November.
The striker opened the scoring after 30 seconds before completing his brace before half time, with the in-form Luke Thomas, Charles Vernam and Jayden Bogle completing the rout. Grady Diangana grabbed a late consolation for the hosts.
West Ham United: Trott; Johnson (Scully, 63’), Pike (Coventry, 50), Akinola, Powell; Quina, Makasi; Kemp (Diangana, 56), Samuelsen, Haksabanovic; Martinez
Substitutes not used: Matrevics, Well
Derby County: Barnes; Bogle, Bateman, Wassall, Lowe; Guy, Thorne; Thomas (Walker, 85), Vernam (Bird, 74), Babos (Macdonald, 69); Zanzala
Substitutes not used: Ravas, Jakobsen