After a two-week t20 break, the LV= County Championship returns with places up for grabs and the table starting to take a mid-season shape. First Team Scorer Roger 'The Duke' Marshall will have to get his thinking cap back on in order to predict some correct scores and improve his league standing.

Ahead of each round of fixtures, he will be pitched against a Nottinghamshire illuminary in a prediction challenge. You can join in by tweeting your predictions with the hashtag #Beattheduke with prizes on offer for competitors and champion tipsters. 

This week two teams at the opposite ends of the table face off, Derbyshire and Durham both with different goals. Last year’s champions Warwickshire, who are struggling this time around, look to resurrect their season with a trip to Middlesex. Somerset, who got their first win in their last outing against Derbyshire, will look to continue their form as they host Sussex. Finally, Nottinghamshire travel to Surrey looking to transfer their white-ball form into the longer format.

The Challenger - Matt Bentley-Walls

With Ashes week upon us we decided to stick with the theme and pick a challenger in line with the beginning of the historic series. Cameraman Matt Bentley-Walls is our pick as he follows the county scene around the country taking in a number of different games throughout the season. He should also have a strong presence at the Test Matches with Sky Sports.  

The Challenger’s Predictions

Durham v Derbyshire

Durham are a stronger Championship outfit and they have a solid backbone of players which they can rely on. I will go for a Durham win.

Middlesex v Warwickshire

Warwickshire are really struggling at the moment and in contrast Middlesex are doing well and I will go for a home win.

Somerset v Sussex

I think Somerset will win as they look like a more well-balanced unit and they have always been good at home.

Surrey v Nottinghamshire

I think Notts will start to pick up wins and I can’t see past Notts winning this game. 

The Duke’s Predictions

Durham v Derbyshire

With Durham at home and Derbyshire still showing fallibility in their second innings, I think Durham will come away with a win from this fixture.  

Middlesex v Warwickshire

This will be a tight game with both teams evenly matches but even though I expect a tight finish I think Middlesex will just sneak home.

Somerset v Sussex

With Somerset only picking up there first win against Derbyshire last time out, they seem like a side which is in disarray. Sussex on the other hand are flying high and I will go for a Sussex win.

Surrey v Nottinghamshire

In this fixture a lot depends on the type of pitch prepared and I reckon it will be a flat one and this is why I think it will be a draw. 

Last Round

In the previous round it was a battle of the scorers and with both of them with years of county knowledge they predicted the same outcomes with the scores ending 1-1. 

League Standings

After eleven rounds the score is The Duke 13 – 10 The Challenger’s.

Duke’s Average- 1.18