Derby County head into the Sky Bet Championship Play-Offs for the third time in five seasons on Friday night.

As we all know, Derby – under Steve McClaren – reached the final in 2014, before falling at the semi-final hurdle against Hull City at the end of the 2015/16 season.

This time around, Gary Rowett will be looking to guide his side to glory, and here, we take a look at some of the key facts and figures that could define the first leg clash with the Cottagers.

Play-Off Experience

The experience that this Derby squad possesses has been a major talking point throughout the campaign, with the vast majority having gained promotion from the second tier in the past.

More remarkable though, is the number of players that have experienced an EFL Play-Off campaign.

With Derby – Scott Carson, Craig Forsyth, Richard Keogh, Andre Wisdom, Bradley Johnson, Andreas Weimann, Marcus Olsson, George Thorne and Tom Huddlestone

Elsewhere – Carson, Kasey Palmer, Ikechi Anya, Chris Baird, Johnson, Alex Pearce, Sam Winnall, Kelle Roos, Matej Vydra, David Nugent, Cameron Jerome, Curtis Davies, Joe Ledley and Huddlestone

That leaves Tom Lawrence, Jamie Hanson, Jonathan Mitchell, Luke Thomas and Jayden Bogle as the only players without experience at this stage of the season.

Derby will certainly be going into these games with plenty of know-how.

In-Form Frontmen

The Rams’ strikers have struggled for goals for much of 2018 and this – coupled with the absence of Sam Winnall through injury – has been a hurdle for Gary Rowett’s side, but one that they have now overcome.

David Nugent has three goals in his last three games, whilst he has also registered an assist, with Cameron Jerome bagging four in his last three, also with a single assist.

If Jerome scores against Fulham on Friday, it will be the first time that he has scored in four consecutive games since September 2005, when he achieved the feat with Cardiff City. Incidentally, one of those goals came against Derby.

For Nugent, a goal would mean his first sequence of four-in-a-row since January 2014, with one of those goals also coming against the Rams, when he was at Leicester City.

Home Advantage?

Whenever a two-legged tie comes around, the talk turns to whether it is an advantage to play your first leg at home, or away.

In the UEFA Champions League, the away goals rule alters perception, and most players and coaches alike would rather play away at first, before returning to finish the job in front of their home fans.

No such system is in place in the EFL Play-Offs though, and the Rams will be looking to capitalise on a vociferous atmosphere at Pride Park Stadium on Friday.

Derby haven’t won at home in the first leg of a play-off tie since 1994, when Gordon Cowans and Tommy Johnson scored in a 2-0 win against Millwall.

Vydra Eyes Personal Best

One more goal would make this the best goalscoring season of Matej Vydra’s season in all competitions.

He is currently level with his 2012/13 tally when he was Watford, when he bagged 22 goals, two of which came in the play-off semi-final against Leicester.

Overall, Derby’s No.23 has been directly involved in six goals in nine career appearances against Fulham, whilst his improvement since Rowett took charge at Pride Park has been marked, as one more goal would take him to 25 under the boss; more than he’s managed under any other manager in his career.