Hull City face Derby County on Friday night in a battle towards the top of the Sky Bet Championship table, and it's live on Sky Sports with kick-off at 7.45pm.The Tigers find themselves at the summit on 35 points from their opening 17 fixtures, but fourth-placed Derby are just two points behind, and a win would see them leapfrog the Tigers up to top spot.
Defensive leaders prepare for battle
It's no surprise to see these two sides battling it out towards the top of the Championship with the pair possessing the best defensive records in The Football League.
Hull have conceded just nine goals and haven't been breached more than once in any of their league outings so far. The Rams, meanwhile, have only conceded two more goals than Hull (11) and have managed to keep eight clean sheets so far this season.
Paul Clement's side travel to the KC Stadium on the back of a 2-0 win over Cardiff City, while Hull shared the spoils with Bristol City last time out, drawing 1-1 at Ashton Gate.
That result means Steve Bruce's men are unbeaten in their last 11 matches and, as well as leading the league defensively, the Tigers have scored 27 – the highest figure in the Championship.
On the other hand, the visitors have only lost once in their previous 10 matches, going down 1-0 to local rivals Nottingham Forest prior to their success over the Bluebirds.
“I think it's going to be a big contest”
Speaking ahead of the game, Paul Clement assured Derby fans that his side would be heading North with the intention of playing a positive brand of football.
“It's two good teams, two teams that are in form so hopefully we can go up there and do ourselves justice. Particularly after our last showing on live television, where we didn't play overly well,” he told Rams Player HD.
“We expect a different type of challenge on Friday against a strong side with experience who can attack and defend. I think it's going to be a big contest.
“We're going away from home to play the league leaders, but it's a game we're going into with a positive attitude and will try to get the victory.”
Former Derby midfielder Tom Huddlestone, now of Hull, revealed this fixture is like no other for him on a personal level.
Speaking to hullcitytigers.com, he said: “It was one of the fixtures that I looked for when they were released back in June, it will be different from any other game for me personally because of the obvious connections.”
Huddlestone came through Derby's Academy and made 91 appearances for the Rams before moving to Tottenham Hotspur, prior to his switch to the KC.
“I have seen quite a bit of Derby this season,” he added. “Their new head coach likes to play a possession-based game and, in the Championship, they are one of the best at that style of play.
“They have shown that they are patient and wait to create their chances, but defensively, they are so well organised and have a solid back four. It’s going to be an interesting game.”
Watch it live!
Coverage of the match begins on Sky Sports from 7pm, with kick-off at the KC Stadium at 7.45pm and, as always, we'll be providing live updates on our official divisional Twitter account - @SkyBetChamp.