After having to wait two weeks for a game during the international break Derby visit Bloomfield Road tonight for their second game in four days looking for a third win a row to further boost their resurgence and establish themselves in the top half of the table. With virtually a full squad to pick from, with the return of Roy Carroll and Dean Leacock from suspension, Paul Jewell may look to rest some his youngsters to prevent burn out as The Rams face a run of seven games in twenty-one days.
Things have certainly changed since Derby`s poor start to the season and whilst performances have not been consistent Jewell`s side have found a never say day attitude and ability to win games reminiscent of Billy Davies` promotion winning side of two years ago. The return of Kris Commons will certainly add to The Rams` attacking options although a knock to the knee picked up in his return to action against Plymouth may mean a tough choice for Jewell as he brings the Scotland winger back into the fold as he won`t want to push him too hard and risk another spell on the sidelines, especially with the loss of Pearson and Davis who have provided cover on the left of midfield in his absence.
Blackpool come into the match on the run of five unbeaten, including an impressive win at St Andrews` against one of the early pacesetters in Birmingham City, although they have drawn four in a row since that win. Injury worries may force team changes but leading scorer Ben Burgess may play through the pain barrier to boost The Seasiders` attacking options. Mo Camara, having had his loan period extended, will not be allowed to play against his parent club so a change at left back is certain.
‘I am not a great one for rotation but I am aware that we’ve got Nacer Barazite at 18, Miles Addison who is 19 and even Lewin Nyatanga at 20 – these lads are not used to playing Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday at this level, and it can take an awful lot out of them mentally and physically.”
Paul Jewell ponders changes to the line-up whilst talking to the Derby Evening Telegraph
Blackpool Team News:
Mo Camara is ineligible in the terms of his loan to Blackpool and Taylor-Fletcher, Mitchell and McPhee all look set to miss out. Ben Burgess may need a late fitness test in order to make the starting line-up.
Player to watch: Steve Kabba
A onetime Derby target, Kabba has experience at Championship level for both Watford and Sheffield United before being loaned to Blackpool at the beginning of this season. A pacey striker who hasn`t quite fulfilled his early promise shown at Crystal Palace but always looks a threat and certainly has the ability to turn a game if on form.
Derby County Team News:
Steve Davies misses out after picking up a facial injury in the victory against Plymouth, Commons may be unavailable after picking up a knock in the same game. Carroll and Leacock available again after suspensions at the weekend.
Player to watch: Paul Green
Hard working midfielder who has cemented his place in the centre of midfield for The Rams this season with his dynamic displays. Has managed to find the net already this season and has had another two efforts going down as own goals despite his desire to claim them including the winner against Plymouth on Saturday.
Match Facts & Stats
Last 5 results
Birmingham City (A) 1-0 Taylor-Fletcher
Coventry City (H) 1-1 Burgess
Queens Park Rangers (A) 1-1 Taylor-Fletcher
Cardiff City (H) 1-1 Gow
Doncaster Rovers (A) 0-0
Cardiff City (H) 1-1 Albrechtsen
Queens Park Rangers (A) 2-0 Albrechtsen, Villa
Birmingham City (H) 1-1 Davies
Norwich City (A) 2-1 Hulse, Ellington
Plymouth Argyle (H) 2-1 Hulse, Duguid (og)
Derby, riding high on the back of a seven game unbeaten run, visit Blackpool looking to win a third away game in a row against a home side without a win in four, albeit undefeated having drawn all four. Whilst not exactly playing flowing football at the moment Derby have found their feet and have shown the know-how to win games whilst not at 100% and with the confidence generated in the unbeaten run The Rams will take this 1-0 in another close fought game.
25th Oct v Coventry City (Coca Cola Championship) Ricoh Arena