The undefeated run is over and now it’s time for Derby to show what they’re made of by bouncing back from defeat against Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena this afternoon. After an exciting, but ultimately fruitless, performance at Bloomfield Road on Tuesday The Rams will be looking to get back to winning ways and Paul Jewell will be looking to his defence to get back to their best after a shaky looking performance against Blackpool. This is a chance to see how Jewell’s side will react to the defeat and hopefully they can return to form against a Coventry side beaten themselves in midweek.
The Sky Blues go into this clash on the back of two straight defeats and without a clean sheet in five they will also be looking to tighten things at the back and push themselves back in the right direction in terms of league position having dropped into the bottom half with those results. After a thumping at the hands of Burnley in midweek Coventry will want to turn things around straight away and Chris Coleman will be looking to his strikers to get the goals to overcome the recent poor form of his defence. Leon MacKenzie is out for six weeks with a muscle tear picked up in training but Coleman has options in Freddie Eastwood, Leon Best and the ever dangerous Maltese international Michael Mifsud.
Lewin Nyatanga looks set to regain his place in the heart of Derby’s defence after dropping to the bench on Tuesday, a poor performance from Claude Davies would seem to point to the Welsh international reganing his shirt alongside Dean Leacock who will also be looking to bounce back from a below par effort at the seaside. Kris Commons looks set to boost his fitness further with another start as he looks to next weekend for his first game against Nottingham Forest since his summer move and Mile Sterjovski could make his first start of the season after Nacer Barazite suffered a knee ligament injury.
‘Last season, it was not a good club to be around. Coming in day in, day out, you could tell as soon as players came through the gates, their mentality was gone – they were drained.
But this season, that has changed. We went on an unbeaten run and everyone at the club, from the kit man to the manager, is upbeat.
Now, the personalities around the place are a lot more bouncy.’
Mile Addison talking to the Derby Evening Telegraph about the new attitude around Pride Park this season
Coventry City Team News:
Leon MacKenzie misses out after tearing a thigh muscle in training during the week, Aron Gunnarsson and Jay Tabb to pass late fitness tests to make the starting line-up.
Player to watch: Freddie Eastwood
Another one-time target for Derby under Billy Davies, signed for Wolves where things didn’t quite work out for him despite gaining a place in the Wales squad leading to Chris Coleman bringing him to the Ricoh Arena in the summer. Hasn’t rediscovered his prolific form from his Southend days but has the ability to make it at Championship level and will be one to look out for this afternoon.
Derby County Team News:
Nacer Barazite is out after picking up a knee injury against Blackpool in midweek, he joins Steve Davis, Stephen Pearson and Martin Albrechtsen as long term absentees for The Rams.
Player to watch: Kris Commons
Back from injury and looking sharp in the loss to Blackpool on Tuesday after bagging his first goal in a Derby shirt. On his day he will provide the extra quality and creativity that Derby need to turn the solid performances into winning performances and he’ll be looking to put The Rams back on the winning path.
Match Facts & Stats
Blackpool (A) 1-1 Eastwood
Cardiff City (A) 1-2 Dann
Southampton (H) 4-1 Tabb (2), MacKenzie, Best
Wolverhampton Wanderers (A) 1-2 Mifsud
Burnley (H) 1-3 Ward
Swansea City (A) 1-1 Pearson
Cardiff City (H) 1-1 Albrechtsen
Queens Park Rangers (A) 2-0 Albrechtsen, Villa
Birmingham City (H) 1-1 Davies
Blackpool (A) 2-3 Commons, Sterjovski
Both sides will be looking to return to form after midweek defeats with defensive worries at the top of the list with six goals conceded between the pair. Attacking wise both sides have potential match winners from midfield and with strikers capable of scoring the goals to push their side to victory. Expect a much improved perforamce from both back lines today and a tighter game all round with it finishing all square at 1-1.
28th Oct v Norwich City (Coca Cola Championship) Pride Park