Derby County are Wembley bound once again. Five years after our last visit we again pay a visit to the capital for the Championship Play-Off final on Bank Holiday Monday.
We couldn’t have asked for more formidable opponents in my opinion. Aston Villa have a squad full of big names and will be desperate to get back into the Premier League due too their hefty wage bill amongst the more obvious of reasons.
Dean Smith settled into the management role quickly after the departure of Steve Bruce.
When you look at names like Whelan, McGinn, Hourihane, Grealish, Adomah, Kojia and Abraham you realise the size of the task ahead.
Will Derby County's Frank Lampard gamble pay off?
It will take a disciplined performance from the Rams to make progress, but hey are more than capable of doing so.
I think the key to the game on Monday will be restricting the influence that Jack Grealish has on the game and of course stopping Tammy Abraham. If you can manage to do both of these things then you are in with a chance!
We will need to play good quality balls in that final third. Whoever starts up front out of Bennett, Marriott or Martyn Waghorn will need good support in order to hit that ball goal wards. You don’t get fat on scraps!
It will be a chance for the loan stars Wilson, Mount and Fikayo Tomori to show the country what they can do. It’ll also be an opportunity for the likes of Jayden Bogle, Marriott etc to prove that they can do it under pressure.
This Wembley appearance could well be the last time that we see Ashley Cole on the pitch playing.
He came in January to help his old mate Frank Lampard out and has been there to cover whenever asked. Obviously Scott Malone has been the pick at Left Back, but with him suspended it’ll be an ideal opportunity for Cole to go out on a winning note should he opt to retire.
Whatever happens I hope that all of our fans applaud the team at the end of the game. It’s been a good and mostly entertaining season and arguably our best since the play off win against West Brom a few years ago.