Aston Villa will be looking to climb up the Championship table later today when they travel to Pride Park to take on Derby County.
The Villans currently sit in 14th on 21 points with results having been mixed for the Midlands club since Dean Smith succeeded Steve Bruce in the Villa Park dugout back in October.
Under the 47-year-old, performances have certainly improved, though that has yet to transfer into points. And things may not be set to get any better with a tricky fixture against an in-form Derby awaiting Dean’s men.
While Aston Villa’s start to the season has been a poor one, in contrast, Derby’s has been brilliant under Frank Lampard — and not just because of their fifth place league position.
As well as picking up points, the Rams have been playing a very entertaining brand of football with Lampard at the helm, a brand of football that is bearing fruit for the club.
In the Championship so far and even against the likes of Lampard’s former side Chelsea and Manchester United in the Carabao Cup, Derby have really tried to take it to their opposition and have often been rewarded with goals for doing so.
If that and their recent 3-1 win over Birmingham are anything to go by, then it could be a long afternoon for Dean and co.