Derby County host table-toppers Everton at Pride Park stadium in the Premier League 2 on Monday evening. The Rams are looking to extend a five-match unbeaten run to stave off any fears of relegation. Derby sit level with both Leicester City and Reading, who make up the bottom two relegation places.
Everton will be hoping to bounce back from a 3-0 loss to Manchester City’s Elite Development squad. The Toffees are three points clear of City at the top of the table and will be looking to get their title-challenge back on track as the season draws to a close.
The inaugural Premier League 2 season has been a challenge for Derby, but their campaign is starting to take shape as they look to avoid the drop. That five-match unbeaten run has included big wins against Liverpool, Manchester United and a draw against Leicester.
The Rams will have the opportunity to be backed by the Derby faithful tonight with admission into Pride Park being free for all supporters. First-team player Mason Bennett is expected to be available for tonight’s game having sat out the last two first-team fixtures.
Just four games are left for Derby to secure their Premier League 2 Division One status. With away games at Manchester City and Southampton to navigate and a finale back at Pride Park against Chelsea, points are a must for this young Rams side.
Winger Timi Max Elsnik told dcfc.co.uk that he expects the crowd to see some good football on display.
“It’s going to be a beautiful game to watch. There will be lots of good football from two sides who are playing well at the moment. It’s one that I am looking forward to.
“We have got to approach the game with the same mentality that we have had recently, though, and if we can do that we will have a great chance.”
Everton, meanwhile, will be hoping to get the job done tonight in Derby, with manager David Unsworth pleased with the progress his side have made in a tough division.
Speaking to evertonfc.com, the former Blues left-back said: “If you had asked us at the start of the season would you want to be three points clear and have a good goal-difference, of course we would have wanted that.
“We are competing with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City who have spent fortunes. We are very proud of our group and, no matter what happens, we will still be proud.”