Rams hope for Easter TV treat
The Rams visit the Walkers Stadium this weekend to take on East Midlands rivals Leicester City, with only one thing on their minds – three points.
The game today is live on Sky (2.45pm) and Billy Davies will be hoping for a strong performance to give the Rams a cushion at the top of the table with all their rivals playing tomorrow. A win tonight will put pressure on Sunderland and Birmingham City in the fight of automatic promotion.
The Rams will hopefully receive a boost for the clash with the return of midfielder Stephen Pearson. The talented Scottish international has impressed since his January move from Celtic, but he has not played since the end of February because of a foot injury. Another concern for Davies is David Jones, who limped out of last week’s win at Barnsley with a calf problem, but he hopes both will be fit for the Foxes clash. Davies admits Pearson`s return has come at an ideal time, while 17-goal striker Steve Howard will be back on Monday following suspension.
Davies said: ‘It will need to be a time for freshness, this is why we carry the squad and this is where the appearance of someone like Pearo [Pearson], for example, and bringing back Steve Howard, could be crucial for us.
‘It’s about the rotation and getting the fresh legs in the team at the right time.
‘But we will look at the first match, try to take care of it and then we’ll think about it.’
Leicester is also sweating on a number of players with injuries after their 2-4 loss against Stoke City last time out. Team for the game – Henderson, Stearman, Kenton, Kisnorbo, Maybury (Fryatt 83), Newton, Johnson (Hughes 69), Jarrett, Tiatto (Porter 76), Hume, Hammond. Subs Not Used: Logan, Johansson.
Iain Hume, Patrick Kisnorbo and Danny Tiatto had picked up knocks but coach Rob Kelly confirmed that the trio were now back on the training pitches and available for the clash against the Rams.
Leicester City Team News:
Leicester trio Iain Hume, Patrick Kisnorbo and Danny Tiatto were all declared fit after picking up knocks during last Saturday’s loss at Stoke.
The game comes too soon for defender Gareth McAuley (hamstring) while Paddy McCarthy is out for the season
Player to watch: Iain Hume
The Foxes leading scorer with 12 goals this campaign will be a handful for Leacock and Co. Also the aerial strength of their Australian international Patrick Kisnorbo will have to be watched.
Derby County Team News:
Derby manager Billy Davies is hoping the midfield pair of Stephen Pearson (foot) and David Jones (calf)are available for selection.
The Rams are without suspended 17-goal striker Steve Howard but Richard Jackson is ready for a recall.
Player to watch: Matt Oakley
The captain will lead from the front, and Oakley has done that all season for the Rams. He goes about his job with no frills and get`s the job done. He will have a big impact in tonight`s game
Match Facts & Stats
Last time we met in Leicester
14th February 2006
Leicester 2 – Hume, Maybury
Derby 2 – El Hamdaoui, own goal
Leicester City: Douglas, McCarthy, Johansson, Kisnorbo, Stearman, Hughes, Gudjonsson, Maybury, Sylla, Hume, Fryatt
Subs: Subs: Henderson (for Douglas, 46), Smith (for Sylla, 65), O’Grady, Gerrbrand, Williams.
Derby County: Camp, Hajto, Moore, Edworthy, Kenna, Bolder, Barnes, Bisgaard, Smith, El Hamdaoui, Graham
Subs: Thirlwell (for El Hamdaoui, 39), Peschisolido (for Bisgaard, 82), Doyle, Holmes, Poole (gk).
Scorers: El Hamdaoui (24), Hume (27), Maybury (55), Stearman og (57)
Referee: P T Crossley (Kent).
Last three matches between the Foxes and Rams in Leicester
26th April 2005
Leicester 1 – Connolly
14th September 2002
Leicester 3 – Izzet, Deane, Dickov
Derby 1 – Riggott
23rd February 2002
Derby 3 – Knkladze, Strupar, Morris
Simmo`s Prediction – It`s a local derby, and will no doubt be closely fought. But I`ll go for – Leicester City 1 Derby County 2