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Fulham versus Derby County: Three questions with Rams Corner

This is a big game for both teams. Derby County could use a result to cement their place in the top two. Fulham needs to end their slide. Rams Corner stops by to talk about what to expect on Saturday.

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Cottagers Confidential: You're top of the table, 5 points clear of the playoff spots, with the best goal differential in the division. At this point is anything less than finishing in the top two going to be seen as a disappointment?

Rams Corner: Yes, I'd have to say so. After the disappointment of just falling short last season, the aim has been to go up automatically. I think Derby will pull it off but it'll be close.

The club has made it clear through their signings and renewal of key players' contracts that they are going all out for promotion.

CC: Tell me about Chris Martin. He's scoring a ton of goals this year. What makes him more than a slightly younger version of Ross McCormack?

RC: Believe it or not, Martin isn't heralded as a huge favourite on the terraces, I don't find him to be the most endearing. Rams fans know all too well how he spends a lot of time on the floor but he scores goals a lot. When Derby are playing well, he is.

Martin has a great habit of getting underneath the opposition's skin, but it can equally happen the other way round. He hassles and gives defenders a torrid time and with such great attacking players a round him he'll always get the service.

Recently he has been out injured, although he is edging to a return, I'm sure that Darren Bent will lead the line. Bent has been lethal. Aston Villa really should have given him a chance!

CC: This is a game where Fulham really need a result. How would you set up a team to defeat Derby?

RC: Press Derby high, give them no time on the ball, be clinical and absolutely work your socks off! The Rams have come unstuck against very physical sides on occasions this season. Middlesbrough were great at it in December.

Going for a smash and grab and riding your luck behind the ball probably wouldn't be the best way. Derby can generally hold their nerve and patiently find a way through.

CC: Could you predict a lineup and score?


Score: I think it'll be a 3-1 away win. This Rams side has goals in it, there's no doubt about that.

Line up prediction: Grant; Christie; Shotton, Keogh, Forsyth; Thorne, Hughes, Hendrick; Ince, Bent, Lingard.