Derby County entertain Coventry City having dropped into the bottom three in the Championship after the midweek defeat against Birmingham City and will be looking to get their season back on track. A much improved performance saw them create a string of chances but the front pairing of Kris Commons and Rob Hulse were unable to take advantage and a late clearance off the line by former Ram Lee Carsley to deny Miles Addison sealed their defeat. Having not scored in the league since Hulse`s later strike against Watford back in late December Nigel Clough will be looking for his side to break the barren spell as they have been scoring plenty on various cup-ties in the last four weeks.
It looks as though Giles Barnes is set to join Fulham on loan with a view to a permanent deal in the summer and Derby have also been linked with Chris Porter of Motherwell although Well`s chairman has publicly stated that The Ram`s bid is not high enough as of yet. Steve Davies and Andy Todd are doubts for this encounter and it may come too soon for Stephen Pearson who had a run out in the behind closed doors friendly against Aston Villa during the week. Ellington and McEveley look set to return to the squad after injuries although one player who won`t be involved is Jay O`Shea who has been allowed to return to Galway United after appearing in the friendly but Nigel Clough has decided not to take his interest any further.
Coventry are currently 14th in the Championship with 37 points from 29 games and they were beaten 2-0 by Cardiff City last time out in front of the Sky camera`s although they have qualified for the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 1-0 victory away to Torquay United.. City have been busy in the transfer market signing Chelsea youngster Lee Sawyer and Jordan Henderson from Sunderland both on loan. They have also brought David Bell to club permanently after agreeing a deal with Norwich and Livingston captain James McPake may join in the window after initia
‘It was a very good performance in everything but the result to come to third in the league and play in the manner we did.
We’d rather play like that every week because if we do we’ll be OK.’
Nigel Clough talking to Radio Derby about the Birmingham defeat.
Derby County Team News:
Steve Davies and Andy Todd may face late fitness tests before returning to the squad whilst Jay McEveley and Nathan Ellington return after shoulder and hamstring problems respectively.
Player to watch: Rob Hulse
Still looks the most likely man to score the goals to lift Derby away from the relegation zone. Will be looking to Commons to provide the service that will see him add to his goal tally so far this season.
Coventry City Team News:
On loan Sunderland winger Jordan Henderson goes straight into the squad as does new signing David Bell who has arrived from Norwich City.
Player to watch: Clinton Morrison
Has Premiership and international experience and has scored goals everywhere he has played, his pace will be a test for the Derby defensive line as he looks to add to his ten goals so far this season.
Match Facts & Stats
Last five results
Manchester United (H) 1-0 Commons
Queens Park Rangers (H) 0-2
Manchester United (A) 2-4 Barnes 2
Nottingham Forest (H) 1-1 Hulse
Birmingham City (A) 0-1
Kidderminster Harriers (H) 2-0 McKenzie, Best
Queens Park Rangers (A) 1-1 Fox
Blackpool (H) 2-1 Beuzelin, Mifsud
Torquay United (A) 1-0 Ward
Cardiff City (H) 0-2
Expect a tense afternoon at Pride Park if Derby don`t score early but, after a good midweek performance at St Andrews`, Nigel Clough`s side will see the confidence return and take this 2-0.
4th Feb v Nottingham Forest (FA Cup 4th Round Replay) City Ground