The Sky Blues will make the trip to Pride Park this weekend to face Derby County in the SkyBet Championship (12:30pm kick-off). Here’s everything you need to know about our opponents.
Name: Derby County Football Club
Stadium: Pride Park (first opened 1997)
Nickname: The Rams
Address: Pride Park, Derby, DE24 8XL
Pitch Size: 115 x 74 yards
Derby County head into this weekend with 11 wins, 12 draws and 15 losses so far this season, as Wayne Rooney’s side currently sit in 23rd place.
A dramatic final day of last season saw a 3-3 draw against Sheffield Wednesday ensure survival for Derby, following a season which saw Phillip Cocu replaced by current manager Wayne Rooney.
More recently, The Rams have seen a number of outgoings. The most recent outgoing was Kamil Jozwiak, who joined MLS side Charlotte FC, while Sam Baldock joined Oxford United, Graeme Shinnie joined Wigan, Phil Jagielka joined Stoke City, David Marshall joined QPR and Luke Plange joined Crystal Palace but has since returned on loan.
The captain also holds the most goals for his side during the current campaign; Lawrence sits as Derby’s top scorer with nine goals, while Colin Kazim-Richards, Curtis Davies and Ravel Morrison are tied with four goals each.
The Manager: Wayne Rooney
One of the most famous names in English football signed as Derby County’s permanent manager in January 2021, when Rooney initially took the role on an interim basis as Phillip Cocu parted company with the club.
An assist in his professional debut, when Everton drew 2-2 with Tottenham, hinted at the success to come in Rooney’s playing career but it was his last-minute winner against Arsenal only five days before his 17th birthday which captured the attention of many.
In 2003 Rooney became the youngest player to score for England with his equaliser against Macedonia in a UEFA Euro qualifying match, at only 17 years old.
Rooney earned a transfer to Manchester United in 2004, where he would go on to become all-time top goalscorer with 253 goals in 14 years. The striker sealed his status as a club legend by winning 16 trophies during his time at Manchester United - becoming one of only two players, alongside teammate Michael Carrick, to win the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, FIFA Club World Cup, FA Cup and League Cup.
On the international stage, Rooney also claimed the record of all-time top goalscorer for England with 53 goals, also earning four England Player of the Year awards. With 120 international caps, Rooney featured in the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups, earning the second most England appearances behind Peter Shilton.
A brief spell at hometown club Everton upon leaving Manchester United in 2017 saw Rooney end the season as top goalscorer before moving on to D.C. United in the MLS. It was in 2018 when Rooney was named as D.C. United MVP, claiming the club’s golden boot in the same year. A return to England in January 2020 with Derby County led to Rooney scoring six Championship goals before moving into management.
In his first season in management, Rooney ensured Derby’s Championship survival and has since engineered a strong run of form in an attempt to lift Derby from the bottom of the Championship.
Last Six Games:
Lost – Blackburn Rovers 3-1 Derby County (SkyBet Championship)
Lost – Bournemouth 2-0 Derby County (SkyBet Championship)
Won – Derby County 2-0 Barnsley (SkyBet Championship)
Lost – Cardiff City 1-0 Derby County (SkyBet Championship)
Lost – Luton Town 1-0 Derby County (SkyBet Championship)
Lost – Derby County 1-2 Millwall (SkyBet Championship)
Last Time We Met: Sky Blues 1-0 Derby County
A rainy afternoon at the Coventry Building Society Arena failed to dampen the contest as the Sky Blues progressed into the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round, courtesy of Dom Hyam's header in a 1-0 victory.
Sky Blues XI: Ben Wilson (GK), Todd Kane, Dom Hyam, Michael Rose, Jake Clarke-Salter, Fankaty Dabo, Ben Sheaf, Gustavo Hamer (Josh Eccles, 65’), Jamie Allen (Callum O'Hare, 90’), Jordan Shipley (Jodi Jones, 65’), Matty Godden © (Viktor Gyokeres, 90’)
Unused Subs: Simon Moore (GK), Josh Reid, Martyn Waghorn, Tyler Walker, Fabio Tavares
Sky Blues wins – 30
Draws – 21
Derby County wins – 32
Club Connection: Luke Thomas
Thomas began his career in the National League with Cheltenham Town, but he only made one first team appearance against Chelmsford City in the FA Trophy.
The midfielder’s first career move came in January 2016 when he joined Derby County for an undisclosed fee, singing a two and a half year contract. During the 2016/17 season, Thomas gained experience on loan in the National League North with Gloucester City.
Thomas enjoyed a successful year in 2017 when he was nominated for the Premier League 2 Player of the Month in September, as well as signing a new three-year deal only a month later and appearing in the first team matchday squad against Leeds United. He then made his league debut in November as an 89th minute substitute in a 2-0 win over QPR.
The midfielder joined the Sky Blues for the 2018/19 season, going on to score five goals in 44 appearances in all competitions.
His good form with City caught the attention of Barnsley in 2019, and Thomas signed for the South Yorkshire club on a permanent basis. Since then, Thomas has also spent time on loan at Ipswich Town and Bristol Rovers.
The EFL have confirmed that Darren Bond will be the man in the middle of the Sky Blues clash with Derby County this weekend.
Bond will be assisted by Mark Russell and George Byrne whilst Josh Smith will act as the fourth official.