Date: 17th October 2008 at 11:40am
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So, the international break is over and England are officially the best team in the world again after winning two games in five days(!) and my mate Dave down the pub reckons he knows someone who recently came back from the far east who says to put your money on a 2-1 Derby win but I`ve not told you right.

After the ‘investigation’ into the Norwich City game it’s good to see the usual low profile around Pride Park, we just can`t keep out of the news can we? Adam Pearson has appeared on SSN strongly denying that any wrongdoing has occurred and the less said the better really, various lawyers must be perking up in Derbyshire and East Anglia at the thought of a word out of place or unproven allegation appearing in the press.

Anyway, back to the football, Paul Connolly lines up against his former club in this clash of two teams showing some good form over the last few weeks. Plymouth sit 5th in the Championship ten places, but only two points, ahead of The Rams and a win for the home side could move them into the play-off positions with results working in their favour.

Paul Jewell will be hoping his side carry on from where they left off before the international break and can continue their climb up the table on the back of a six game unbeaten run. Injuries and suspensions mean a re-shuffle at the back for Derby and Claude Davis and Lewin Nyatanga may find themselves as a makeshift pairing at the heart of the defence.

Plymouth go into the game on a run of four wins and a draw from the last five after a 2-1 reverse at home to Norwich on 13th September with Paul Gallagher and Rory Fallon scoring the goals to keep the run ticking over. After a slow start the results have picked up and they are currently looking to establish themselves on the play-off zone in the early season table.

Vital Quotes:

‘Kris has trained this week and hopefully he will not have any reaction to his injury.’

Paul Jewell talking to Radio Derby about the possibility of the Scotland man returning

Derby County Team News:

Suspensions and injuries rule out Dean Leacock, Martin Albrechtsen and Roy Carroll as Derby will have to re-shape the defence that has been the backbone of the recent upturn in form. With Villa, Hulse and Ellington all on the score sheet in the last couple of games it will be a tough choice up front for Paul Jewell and Kris Commons may return after being back in training during the week off.

Player to watch: Rob Hulse

Scored in the win away to Norwich and has been looking to regain some of his sharpness in recent games, his work rate is never in question and with a run of form he can look to score the goals to keep Derby looking at the top end of the table over the coming months.

Plymouth Argyle Team News:

David McNamee back in contention after an hours for the reserves but Paul Sturrock is set to name an unchanged side.

Player to watch: Paul Gallagher

Has Premiership experience whilst at Blackburn Rovers but has been on loan at Home Park since the start of the season and has been on target three times in the last five games. Showed early promise when breaking through at Ewood Park but has been out on loan on and off to Championship sides for the last couple of seasons to pick up more experience and possibly earn a permanent move away from the Lancashire side.

Match Facts & Stats

Last 5 results

Derby County
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
Norwich City (A) 2-1 Hulse, Ellington

Plymouth Argyle
Watford (A) 2-1 Duguid, Summerfield
Crystal Palace (A) 2-1 Gallagher (2)
Nottingham Forest (H) 1-0 Fallon
Bristol City (A) 2-2 Mackie, Fallon
Sheffield Wednesday (H) 4-0 Beevers (og), Gallagher, Mackie, Seip

Match Prediction:

Two form teams meet at Pride Park looking for points to push themselves further up the table. With a makeshift back line Derby will be looking to keep the ball out of their box and may need to score more than one to get the win against The Pilgrims. With Hulse and Ellington having scored last time out and Commons maybe making a return the attacking options will prove too much for the visitors with Derby taking this one 2-1.

Next Fixtures:

21st Oct v Blackpool (Coca Cola Championship) Bloomfield Park


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