Fresh from the potentially vital 1-0 win over Sheffield United at Bramall lane on Saturday, Derby have a chance to register back to back wins against Yorkshire opposition.
Doncaster Rovers are the side Nigel Clough’s men are to face and try to earn maximum points.
A first victory in twelve, albeit against dire opposition, has hopefully helped The Rams turn the corner, and Rovers are also desperately out of form.
The only reason Donny sit below Derby in the table, on goal difference, is that they were lower than Derby at the start of both sides’ terrible runs.
The Rams have not won at Pride Park since November and that run needs addressing.
If Championship survival is to be secured, games like tonight have to be won.
Rams defender John Brayford is keen to learn from the mistakes the side have made at home in order to achieve victory: ‘This is something to build on now and that is what we’re aiming to do,’ said Brayford.
‘We’ve worked hard to get this result but we’ve got to do that again now.
‘If we lose against Doncaster, Saturday’s win will be forgotten and some of our good work will have gone to waste.
‘We don’t want that to happen, so as hard as we worked on Saturday, we’ve got to work even harder against Doncaster to make sure we keep it going.’
Donny midfielder Mark Wilson acknowledges his side’s good record at Pride Park counts for nothing on the night: ‘We`ve done well at Pride Park in the past but you can`t take anything for granted because of that. You could look at it another way and think that on the law of averages we are due a defeat there.
‘I personally don`t take either view into consideration and I always look at things game by game. Whether you go into a game having won your last five or lost your last five, it is all on the day.
‘We proved that by going to Norwich in our last away game on the back of some disappointing results and we came away with a point from a 1-1 draw.
‘I don`t think many people gave us much of a chance of coming away with anything, so it was credit to the bunch of players that we`ve got at the club that we`ve come through what has been a very sticky period and go to Norwich, who have been on fire, and pick up a result.’
The Rams Team News:
Jamie Ward may return to the Derby starting line-up after being unable to play against parent club Sheffield United at the weekend.
Theo Robinson will start alongside Ward, Steve Davies or Chris Porter.
James Bailey and Gareth Roberts are both still out, but on the way back.
Player to watch: Theo Robinson
On-loan striker Robinson scored on his full debut against Sheffield United.
That winning goal was desperately needed so, hopefully, he will continue on the goal trail and get a few more until the end of the season.
If he impresses, he should sign on a permanent basis.
Rovers Team News:
Doncaster Rovers have serious injury problems at them moment.
James Coppinger and Neil Sullivan are the most high-profile members to miss out.
Billy Sharp has been out injured, but returned in his side’s last game to hand Donny manager Sean O’Driscoll a huge boost.
Player to watch: Billy Sharp
The one that got away?
Derby put in a bid for the ex-Scunthorpe and Sheffield United man but Doncaster trumped Derby’s offer.
He continues to score goals, 13 this season, and is a total annoyance.
He harries, goes down easily and finishes well.
Match Facts & Stats
The Rams’ last five:
Sheffield United (a) 1-0
Hull City (h) 0-1
Scunthorpe United (a) 0-0
Leicester City (h) 0-2
Portsmouth (a) 1-1
Donny’s last five:
Watford (h) 1-1
Norwich City (a) 1-1
Swansea City (a) 0-3
Ipswich Town (h) 0-6
Portsmouth (h) 0-2
Derby County vs. Barnsley, Tue 5 Mar, 15:00, The Championship