Derby County Under-18s will look to claim their ninth consecutive league win on Saturday as Justin Walker’s side face Sunderland away from home, kick-off 1pm.

The last recorded defeat for the Under-18s came in the form of a 1-0 defeat to Middlesbrough in the Premier League Cup in February but have been on a winning run, in the league, stretching back to a 4-2 defeat against Everton in October.

Walker’s side’s impressive form has seen the Under-18s shoot up the Premier League – North table to lead the league by three points with five games remaining.

Last time out the Rams recorded a 3-2 victory against Stoke City at the Potters’ Clayton Wood Training Ground.

Connor Dixon opened the scoring for Derby in the first-half however two quickfire goals from the home side in the second-half pegged the Rams back.

Stoke’s goals were separated by a Sam French penalty save to keep Stoke in touching distance, which allowed Morgan Whittaker to level the tie after a period of strong Derby possession.

With one minute remaining Whittaker was able to latch onto a deep cross and tap home to secure a vital three points for the Rams.

Saturday’s opponents, Sunderland, currently sit bottom of the Premier League – North table, having collected nine points from 16 games.

Last time out the Mackems recorded a 6-1 defeat to West Bromwich Albion at the Academy of Light, with Logan Pye netting the only goal for the home side.

When the two sides met earlier in the season, back in November, Derby were 3-1 winners at the Training Centre in Partnership with the University of Derby, with an own-goal and an Eiran Cashin brace securing the points.

Kick-off on Saturday at Sunderland’s Academy of Light is at 1pm.

Words by Andrew Haines