After the midweek cup exploits against Nottingham Forest Nigel Clough`s side return to league action with an important game against a Plymouth Argyle side who have struggled to find the net of late. The confidence in The Ram`s side must be sky high after the thrilling comeback on Wednesday night and now is the time to reproduce that form in the league to follow up the victory against Coventry and gain more points to continue their push away from the wrong end of the table. The cold spell has not affected this fixture with the game being given the go ahead so this is an ideal opportunity for Derby to improve their league standing if they can get a result and take points away from Home Park.
Nigel Clough has come out this week to praise the midfield partnership between Paul Green and Robbie Savage saying there is good balance there and that Miles Addison will be seen more as a central defender unless the two pick up injuries or suspensions and the youngster should be back in the squad after recovering from his hamstring problems. Chris Porter will be available after his transfer from Motherwell although with the form of the front pairing of Hulse and Commons he may have to settle for a place on the bench after their scoring performance against Forest. Gary Teale spent time on loan at Home Park and his recent assists and all round improvement seem to have cemented his place on the left side of midfield.
Plymouth currently site 16th in the table only three points ahead of The Ram`s and win today would pull them level on points. Plymouth have been going through a dry spell in front of goal of late and Jamie Mackie`s opener at Deepdale in their last game was their first goal in the league since a 2-0 victory over Southampton on boxing day, Argyle lost to Bristol City and Forest in that run and picked up draws against Ipswich and Preston. The Pilgrims went out of the FA Cup 3-1 away to Arsenal and Paul Sturrock will be looking to his more experienced p
‘It was a bad start – we didn’t get going and they came out of the traps better than us.
But when we went 2-0 down we started passing the ball and creating chances and over the two games we thoroughly deserved the victory.’
Robbie Savage talking to Radio Derby about the victory over Nottingham Forest.
Plymouth Argyle Team News:
Sturrock has a number of injury problems before this clash with Chris Barker, Craig Cathcart and Marcel all struggling. David and David McNamee are out.
Player to watch: Jamie Mackie
Hard working striker with a never say die attitude who has forced his way into the starting line-up for Sturrock`s side and has three goals to his name including the opener at Deepdale last time out and will keep the Derby defence on their toes with his running.
Derby County Team News:
Chris Porter will be available for the first time after signing from Motherwell, Miles Addison may face a fitness test on his hamstring injury should be fully recovered.
Player to watch: Kris Commons
Outstanding against Forest in midweek and scored the winning goal against his former club to set up the clash with Manchester United. Has found his form under Nigel Clough and has become much more influential since his move into the middle to play off Rob Hulse and the two are forming a good partnership in the games they have played together.
Match Facts & Stats
Last five results
Arsenal (A) 1-3 Duguid
Nottingham Forest (A) 0-2
Bristol City (H) 0-2
Ipswich Town (A) 0-0
Preston North End (A) 1-1 Mackie
Manchester United (A) 2-4 Barnes 2
Nottingham Forest (H) 1-1 Hulse
Birmingham City (A) 0-1
Coventry City (H) 2-1 Hulse, Commons
Nottingham Forest (A) 3-2 Hulse, Green, Commons
After the superb midweek comeback at the City Ground it`s important not to get carried away and look to take that form into the league. Plymouth have had some poor results of late but they will be looking to put that behind them and this will end 1-1 with both sides gaining precious points in their quest to pull away from the bottom of the table.
15th Feb v Manchester United (FA Cup Round 5) Pride Park