Derby County Under-18s will be looking to make it four consecutive wins in all competitions when they travel to face Sunderland at the Academy of Light on Saturday in the Under-18 Premier League - North (1pm kick-off).

The Young Rams have been in great form in recent weeks following a slow start to the campaign.

They were victorious last time out as they beat Blackburn Rovers 3-1 away from home just three days after a successful visit to Minsk in the UEFA Youth League.

The focus is now on a trip to the North East where Justin Walker’s side will be looking to maintain the momentum they have built up in their last few fixtures.

After losing each of their opening seven matches and conceding 28 goals, Saturday’s hosts are in serious trouble of their own and will be desperate to get their first points of the season against Derby.

They looked as though they were on track to do so in their last match but despite having a one-goal lead for over 45 minutes, West Bromwich Albion managed to come from behind to win 2-1.

The visitors go into the game backed by an excellent record against Sunderland as they have won five of the last six encounters, including a 1-0 victory in the most recent meeting back in March thanks to Archie Brown’s winner.

Walker will be eager to see whether his young side can cope with their hectic schedule as the second-leg against Minsk edges ever closer.

Words: Ed Mackey