Allow me to transport you back in time to a place where multi million pound transfer fees for bang average players was unheard of and Derby County were First Division champions.
Yes sir, Derby County were one of the 12 founding fathers of the football league as we know it and they won their first ever football league championship in 1972.
With Brian Clough and Peter Taylor the driving force behind their success they went on to reach the semi finals of the European Cup the following season being famously knocked out by Juventus, who Clough subsequently labelled “cheating bastards”.
Clough would be a pop-star of the modern day Premier league in the style of Jurgen Klopp with his honest and off the cuff appraisals.
These days Derby are still trying to make their way back to the Premier League after being relegated in 2007 with the lowest points total ever and earliest relegation – March. They are currently fifth in the First Division and pushing hard for promotion.
As for Manchester United – how the mighty have fallen. Successive managers have tried to pick up the baton left by Sir Alex Ferguson but so far it has been nothing but a poisoned chalice. The latest incumbent – Louis Van Gaal is being denigrated for his turgid style of football and lack of expression. The natives are restless and defeat here could spell the end for LVG.
How Van Gaal could do with a white knight riding to his rescue in the form of one Mark Robins who famously rescued United from an FA Cup third round defeat against Nottingham Forest. That is the type of cataclysmic event needed to move fans from doubters to believers in the United seats.
It's not going to happen though is it?
Van Gaal's lifeless touchline presence and his dour demeanour are the complete antithesis of our “Kloppo” and whilst one club appears to be on the rise through a refusal to accept defeat another seems to be slowly sinking to abject normality.
No wonder this game has been picked for prime time TV because it has “upset” written all over it. United are a poor, poor imitation of what they should be and Schweinsteiger and his expensively assembled cohorts will not be looking forward to a cold wet and windy trip to Derby.
And so to the betting:
Derby are 3/1 outsiders with evens for the men in imitation red. Derby to win 1-0 is a great bet in my opinion and 10/1 across the board.
United should have enough to win this but on recent performances you have to question whether they have the stomach for the fight. Away from