PREVIEW: Derby travel to Huddersfield in opening fixture clash

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Derby travel to The John Smith’s stadium on Monday night ahead of Phillip Cocu’s first league game in charge of the Rams.

The Derby faithful will make the travel to Yorkshire as the Rams prepare to face the recently relegated Terriers in a thrilling opener in England’s second tier.

Cocu will be aiming for a quick start to the season after being named the successor to Frank Lampard, who managed to win his first game in charge last season away at Reading.


The Opposition

Huddersfield Town come into the game as one of the three sides recently relegated from the Premier League, after their two-year stint in England’s first division.

Jan Siewert’s side ended pre-season well, going unbeaten in the lead up to the season with some impressive performances against Hamburger SV and Montpellier HSC.

Huddersfield look set to be without striker Steve Mounie, due to his involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations meaning the Benin international has only just returned to training.


Previous Meetings

The two sides last met in April of 2017 where the two sides had to share the points in a 1-1 draw at Pride Park.

Colin Quaner had put the visitors ahead early on before Jacob Butterfield equalised deep into the second half to share the spoils.

The reverse fixture that season was in October of 2016, where Town struck in the 93rd minute through Elias Kachunga to snatch all three points away.

The fixture will be the 95th time the sides have played each other over league and cup competitions, where Derby have got the better of the Terriers on 39 occasions, drawing 26 times and losing 29 times.


Team News

Rams striker, Jack Marriott, looks unlikely to be involved on Monday, having missed four of Derby’s pre-season matches with a thigh injury.

Duane Holmes is also out with a thigh injury adding to the list of Scott Carson, George Thorne, Andre Wisdom, Ikechi Anya and long-term injury Craig Forsyth, who will all miss out on the trip to Yorkshire.


Manager’s Thoughts

Despite the Terriers being one of the favourites for promotion, Phillip Cocu said in his pre-match press conference that the team are “looking forward to the game” and seeing how they “cope with an opponent like Huddersfield”.

“They [Huddersfield] have a lot of quality in their team. They manage the ball well and are organised, we have to on top of our game to get a good result, “said Cocu.

“They are one of the favourites for promotion so hopefully we can give a good presentation for our supporters.”

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