You could almost hear the knifes sharpen above manager George Graham's head as Spurs fell to their first Premiership defeat at White Hart Lane last Saturday. With Tottenham's tragic away record, one feels that the former Arsenal boss's job is resting on success in the FA Cup - not the easiest task when you're facing a team that has already knocked out Manchester United and Sunderland in the next round.
But quarter-final clashes with West Ham aside, Spurs will be desperate to break their jinx on the road that has seen the Londoners win just once - albeit on their last trip away to Manchester City. And Graham would have preferred easier opposition than Derby County who, despite their lowly league position, have only lost twice at Pride Park all season.
A good recent run in the Premiership - including wins over Sunderland and Aston Villa - has seen the Rams move five points clear of the relegation zone, and boss Jim Smith will be far more confident in the coming weeks. The former Portsmouth manager set a safety target of 39 points by the end of the season, and two more wins would put the Midlanders above that goal.
The real change in Derby has stemmed from the arrival of defensive coach Colin Todd back in November last year. Smith's battlers have kept an amazing 11 clean sheets since then and conceded a paltry 0.88 goals per game - an average well below that of their season-to-date 1.54.
However, if the Rams are to continue their rise up the table, then they will need to start putting the ball in the back of the net with far more regularity. Derby average exactly a goal per game in 2000-01, although do possess a superior shooting accuracy over their visitors on Saturday (43% to 41%).
Spurs, and in particular, their manager Graham know a little bit about defending too and the north Londoners are currently the meanest defence in the Premiership. The two goals they conceded last week against Leeds were the first that had beaten either Neil Sullivan or Ian Walker since the 2nd January.
So with two apparently watertight rearguards on show, SpursBet are 8/1 on a goalless draw at Pride Park for those inclined to spice up their football matches with a bet.
With the pressure on both sides to reign victorious immense for different reasons, it is likely to be a nervy affair in the Midlands. Certainly if Graham is ever going to win over the Tottenham faithful, then returning to London with all three points is a good place to begin.