We continue our look at the Club's 2019/20 opposition, this time profiling Derby County...
Full name: Derby County Football Club
Nickname: The Rams
Founded: 1884 (135 years ago)
2018/19 finish: Championship 6th
Manager: Frank Lampard made a seamless transition into management during his first year in the hot-seat, guiding the Rams to within a whisker of the Premier League. Despite the campaign ending in heart-breaking fashion against Aston Villa in the play-off final, the former Chelsea and England ace displayed his managerial credentials at Pride Park, helping establish his charges as genuine promotion contenders. Many expect them to be knocking on the door once again in 2019/20.
Star man: With key loan acquisitions Harry Wilson and Mason Mount both returning to their parent clubs, Liverpool and Chelsea, this summer, there is likely to be plenty of weight on the shoulders of wide man Tom Lawrence during the forthcoming campaign. A technically-gifted performer, Lawrence was once again a key performer for the Rams last term, netting seven times as well as assisting a further eight. His power, athleticism and ability on the ball make him a constant nuisance for any Championship defender, and his form in 2019/20 could go a long way to determining how the season pans out at Pride Park.
2019/20 Promotion odds: 11/2 (latest odds at the time of writing courtesy of bet365)
Stadium: Pride Park (33,597)
Distance from the bet365 Stadium: 36 miles (51 minutes)
Nearest train station: Derby train station is little over a five-minute walk away from Pride Park making it easily accessible for visiting supporters. Journeys from Stoke-on-Trent to Derby are frequent, and take around 45 minutes with no changeovers necessary.
Head to Head: The two sides have met 131 times with the Rams holding a narrow advantage having won 51 of those meetings, as opposed to the Potters’ 42. The remaining 38 encounters have ended in stalemate.
Historic Meeting: Derby County 0 Stoke City 3 (9 August, 2003): There was plenty of interest amongst Stoke City supporters when they kicked-off the 2003/04 campaign at Pride Park, fielding a starting XI that included eight new summer signings. A campaign of struggle the term before, which ended with the side just about retaining its second-tier status, was put firmly in the background as Tony Pulis’ men romped to a stunning triumph on a glorious afternoon in Derby. Goals from Chris Greenacre, substitute Lewis Neal and Gifton Noel-Williams secured all three points for the visiting Potters, sending the travelling 4,000 supporters into sheer ecstasy.
Did you know: Derby County's original home colours were amber, chocolate and blue, although they only lasted a couple of seasons before they switched to their now traditional colours of white and black.