Pre Match Thoughts for Boro Away
Tomorrow I, along with 2899 other Rams fans, will be venturing up to Middlesbrough to see the top two teams in the Championship lock horns in what should be a cracking day out and a top game.
With some of the utter pish that Sky have shown from the Championship in the last month, quite how this isn’t on TV is anyone’s guess, but that’s their problem.
Selling out our allocation is a great effort from Derby and there’s even some crazy talk that Boro might pull in a 30k+ crowd. We shall see.
Last season Karanka tactically took McClaren to the cleaners in both games and the Rams were well beaten by a better team on both occasions. However tomorrow, as the home team, he has an interesting dilemma.
Boro are notoriously well organised and difficult to beat but will the large home crowd be content to see their team sit back and let their rivals dominate the ball? In addition Karanka will be only too aware that (assuming Shackell is fit and Grant behaves) Derby are not the pushover they were last season and we also have significant firepower to hurt Boro if they give us the space to do so.
On Clement’s part I wouldn’t imagine it’s too difficult. Get through the first 20 minutes unscathed and then spring out.
However it plays out, there is no doubt it will be tight and small margins could swing the result one way or the other.
Whilst the winners will clearly take a massive boost going into the New Year and a draw wouldn’t really be bad for anyone. The key point to this game in my mind is that it’s not season defining and there’s 4 months of football to come afterwards.
So whilst tomorrow will be a great occasion, a great laugh and a massive buzz, don’t top yourself if we lose and don’t think we’re Champions if we win.
The last time I went to Boro was a Tuesday night and we got skanked by a super harsh offside call to go 2-0 up, only to get beaten 1-2 by a deflection in injury time. That was something to get depressed about.
I’ll do a post-match review on Sunday but, as I keep saying, Derby and Boro will be top two in this league and tomorrows result isn’t going to change that.
See you at the Riverside tomorrow.
Come on you Super Rams!