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Lampard claims in-form Derby are underdogs for play-off clash with Leeds

Frank Lampard insists Derby are underdogs heading into their Championship play-off semi-final clash with Leeds on Saturday.

Derby have momentum going into the Pride Park first leg after winning four of their last five matches while Leeds suffered a slump in form losing three of their last four.

But Lampard is taking nothing for granted against a side that finished the campaign nine points above the Rams and beat them 4-1 in August and 2-0 in January when the ‘Spygate’ row between the two clubs erupted.

“I think we’re underdogs, that’s a challenge that we’ll have to accept and take on,” said Lampard.

“We finished three places behind Leeds for a reason. They beat us twice.

“The early one in the season I think was a difficult one for us because we were trying to make some changes and it was early and they punished us for it.”

Leeds lost their way over Easter with defeats against Wigan and Brentford dashing hopes of automatic promotion.

But Lampard added: “I respect them hugely and we still prepare as we would for any team.

“We focus on ourselves and we’ll be ready.

“We mustn’t forget the fact they beat us twice and we mustn’t forget the fact that they finished points above us in the league.”