dcfc.co.uk has taken an extensive look back at the Rams’ last five opening day fixtures as part of Fixture Release Day.
Derby’s fixtures for the 2019/20 Sky Bet Championship campaign were revealed at 9am this morning - and Frank Lampard's side will be on the road on the opening day when they head to Huddersfield Town on Monday 5th August in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
We’ve looked at how the Rams have fared on the opening day of the campaign since 2014...
2018/19 - Reading (A)
Madejski Stadium, Friday 3rd August 2018
Reading 1-2 Derby County
Derby County Line-Up: Carson, Wisdom, Keogh, Davies, Lowe, Bryson, Ledley (Johnson 69), Mount, Wilson, Nugent (Bennett 73), Lawrence (Pearce 90).
Substitutes Not Used: Roos, Bogle, Jozefzoon, Thomas.
Setting The Scene: The focus was very much on Derby following the high-profile appointment of former Chelsea and England midfielder Frank Lampard as the club’s new manager during the close-season as they looked to mount another promotion challenge.
Lampard, in his first managerial role, had begun the process of reshaping his Rams and named Mason Mount and Harry Wilson in the starting line-up after arriving on loan from Chelsea and Liverpool respectively.
Key Moments: After an uneventful first half Jon Dadi Bodvarsson headed Reading into a second-half lead from Mo Barrow's left-wing cross, but Mason Mount drew Derby level when his left-shot was too much for Vito Mannone to keep out.
Mannone thought he had made amends late on to secure Reading a point when he palmed away a Harry Wilson half-volley from close range, but he could do nothing to prevent Wales winger Tom Lawrence grabbing all three points for Derby with almost the final touch of the game.
Mason Bennett’s fine cross from the right was met on the run by Lawrence, who found the top-left corner with precision to send Lampard, and Derby’s 2,000 fans, wild.
2017/18 – Sunderland (A)
Stadium of Light, Friday 4th August 2017
Sunderland 1-1 Derby County
Derby County Line-Up: Carson, Wisdom, Keogh, Davies, Forsyth, Huddlestone, Johnson, Butterfield, Weimann (Vydra 66), Russell (Bryson 89), Martin (Nugent 78).
Substitutes Not Used: Mitchell, Baird, Pearce, Bennett.
Setting The Scene: In front of the Sky Sports cameras, Derby were handed a lengthy trip north to kick off the new season as they travelled to the North East to take on Sunderland at the Stadium of Light following their relegation from the top-flight in the previous season.
Gary Rowett, who had taken charge of the Rams towards the end of the 2016/17, named summer signings Andre Wisdom, Curtis Davies and Tom Huddlestone in the side, while Andreas Weimann and Chris Martin were back after spells out on loan as Derby kicked off the season with a draw.
Key Moments: Sunderland were on top early on but fell behind to Derby's first attack of the game when Bradley Johnson converted Johnny Russell's low cross from three yards after 11 minutes.
Scott Carson brilliantly tipped over Lee Cattermole's fiercely hit half-volley before Lewis Grabban coolly beat the Rams’ goalkeeper from the spot after Jacob Butterfield was penalised for handball in the box.
Both sides could have won it late on, with Grabban hitting the post from 18 yards while Chris Martin fired over for Derby when well placed inside the area.
2016/17 - Brighton & Hove Albion (H)
Pride Park Stadium, Saturday 6th August 2016
Derby County 0-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
Derby County Line-Up: Carson, Christie, Bryson, Shackell, Keogh, Hendrick, Ince (Butterfield 83), Bent, Baird, Johnson (Hughes 60), Blackman (Martin 69).
Substitutes Not Used: Grant, Pearce, Lowe, Russell.
Setting The Scene: The opening day of the 2016/17 season saw the two victims of the previous season’s play-off semi-finals lock horns in a highly anticipated encounter.
During the build-up to the new campaign, both Derby and Brighton had been tipped highly to be chasing for promotion once again but no early questions seemed to be answered following the conclusion of this encounter as neither side were able to find the back of the net.
Key Moments: Starting quick out of the blocks, Derby launched a number of threatening attacks early on but a stubborn defensive line from Brighton saw the Seagulls soak up all of the Rams’ pressure.
Tom Ince was denied from an impressive point-blank range from David Stockdale while Darren Bent glanced a header wide just before the break.
Brighton pushed to open the scoring after the restart through a half-volley from Tomar Hemed but Cyrus Christie managed to clear his goalbound shot.
Will Hughes then cued the curtain to fall on the Rams’ second goalless opening day of the season in a row after his low strike was pushed away by Stockdale late on.
2015/16 - Bolton Wanderers (A)
Macron Stadium, Saturday 8th August 2015
Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Derby County
Derby County Line-Up: Carson, Bryson (Hendrick 21), Keogh, Martin, Russell (Weimann 67), Baird, Shackell, Hughes (Shotton 33), Ince, Thorne, Warnock.
Substitutes Not Used: Grant, Forsyth, Bent, Pearce.
Setting The Scene: After a close-season of change, Paul Clement and his new-look Rams side faced their first challenge of the campaign away from home against Bolton Wanderers.
On what was a glorious summer’s day in Lancashire, it was another cagey opening day fixture as both sides managed just three shots on target between them as the spoils were shared.
Key Moments: With few clear chances, particularly early on, Derby’s Johnny Russell registered the first chance of the game with a clean side-footed effort from the edge of the box which he bounced off the crossbar.
Unfortunately for Derby, though, injuries sustained to both Craig Bryson and Will Hughes were what grabbed the headlines within the first 35 minutes, with the latter player picking up a serious anterior cruciate ligament injury which ruled him out for several months.
After those two enforced changes, the Rams continued to lack a cutting edge in front of goal, as was the case for the Trotters who struck the crossbar three times during the second half as they pushed for a winner.
In the end, neither side were able to break the deadlock and the only notable action towards the end of the game came in the form of a red card after Jay Spearing was sent off for two bookings.
2014/15 – Rotherham United (H)
Pride Park Stadium, Saturday 9th August 2014
Derby County 1-0 Rotherham United
Derby County Line-Up: Grant, Christie, Forsyth, Bryson, Buxton, Keogh, Dawkins (Best 79), Hendrick, Martin, Russell (Ward 64), Hughes (Mascarell 53)
Substitutes Not Used: Eustace, Whitbread, Sammon, Roos.
Setting The Scene: On the back of the heart-breaking Play-Off Final defeat to Queens Park Rangers at the end of 2013/14, Steve McClaren got his only full campaign in charge of the Rams off to a winning start.
Derby had successfully achieved their plan of continuity as integral players from the memorable 2013/14 season all committed their futures in new long-term deals, further adding a feeling of positivity heading into the campaign.
Key Moments: A spirited first game back in the Championship from Rotherham United, promoted the previous season under Steve Evans via the Play-Offs, saw Derby encounter a few early scares at a sun-soaked Pride Park Stadium.
However, it didn’t take long for the Rams to settle back into the swing of things before a full house and they went on to control 67% of the possession in the game.
In total, Derby registered 10 shots on goal and that included Jeff Hendrick’s eventual winner late on after the Irish midfielder turned in Cyrus Christie’s cross from the right.
It wasn’t all over from that point though, as Craig Forsyth was forced to turn way Kieran Agard’s shot off the line in order to guarantee a winning start on home turf.