Richard Keogh can’t wait for big clash

Championship: Derby captain Richard Keogh admits he cannot wait for their top-of-the-table clash at Bournemouth tonight.

The Rams head to the south coast level on points with Eddie Howe’s surprise Championship leaders with only goal difference separating them after both sides ran out winners in Saturday’s round of fixtures.

Bournemouth won at Wigan for the first time since 1987 while Tom Ince’s first league goals in a year inspired Derby to an emphatic 4-1 win over Bolton to set up a mouth-watering meeting at a sold-out Dean Court.

“It’s a big game, first versus second, and we are really looking forward to it,” Irish international Keogh said in the Derby Telegraph. “What a game to be involved in, what a game to go there and enjoy. We are in good form, we are confident.”

Third-placed Middlesbrough head to rock-bottom Blackpool knowing victory, coupled with a draw at Bournemouth, will send them top of the division. Boro, set to be backed by over 1,200 fans, can call on Daniel Ayala again following suspension but Ryan Fredericks will be assessed after suffering a knock in their win against Charlton.

The Tangerines lost Ishmael Miller on deadline day and he could make his first Huddersfield start against Wolves.

Ipswich will look to close the gap on the top three at home to Sheffield Wednesday. The Tractor Boys were beaten by Rotherham on Saturday and the Millers have climbed six points clear of the drop zone ahead of their trip to Blackburn.

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