Bilic wary of Rooney's Rams

07 July 2020 23:41:46 GMTPlus10

Slaven Bilic knows his West Bromwich Albion side must be wary of a Wayne Rooney-inspired Derby County when the two teams meet at The Hawthorns on Wednesday.

The Baggies are second in the Championship, five points clear of Brentford with five games to play, as they close in on automatic promotion back to the Premier League.

West Brom beat Hull City 4-2 on Sunday to stay just a point behind leaders Leeds United and next up is a home clash with the Rams, who are mounting a late charge for the play-offs.

Rooney is a player insisting on playing every minute of every game.

Slaven Bilic

Derby sit one place outside the top six, but are only three points behind Cardiff City who currently occupy the final play-off place after a run of three wins and a draw in their last four games.

England and Manchester United legend Rooney has been instrumental in their recent rise, scoring crucial goals in the wins over Reading and Preston.

Bilic admits Albion must try and stop the 34-year-old dictating the game in midweek if they want to take anything from the match.

"I have always been a huge admirer of Wayne Rooney and since he arrived at Derby their results have been some of the best in the division," the Croatian said on the club's website.

"He is unique. His qualities we all know about. What I admire even more almost is that even now, when some players feel tired or don't want to play three games in a week, Rooney is a player insisting on playing every minute of every game."

He added: "He is playing in a deeper role and not in the decisive areas, you might say, but he controls the tempo of the game for Derby. Of course, we have to make plans for him to try to stop that happening."

West Brom are 1.66 to beat Derby, who are 5.00, with the draw 3.80.

The Baggies are 12122.00 to win the Championship, while the Rams are 501.00 to be promoted.

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