The final pre-season friendly will provide numerous star names for Rams fans to watch, but getting a win going into the new season will be top priority for Nigel Clough and his Derby side, which has struggles for positive results in the summer.
The likes of Shay Given, Charles N’Zogbia and England striker Darren Bent will be gracing the Pride Park pitch for the first pre-season on home soil before their big second city rivals, Birmingham City, kick things off in earnest with the first league game of the 2011/12 campaign.
The Rams are set to take a gamble on James Bailey and give him some much-needed minutes ahead of Saturday’s big season opener: ‘We’ll get James a training session or two under his belt and if he comes through, he will certainly play for some part of the Villa game on Wednesday,’ said manager Nigel Clough.
‘Would that be enough to put him in on Saturday? I think we have got to take the risk, as we are so short of ‘proper’ midfield players, because we haven’t managed to secure an experienced midfielder that we made a priority back in April.’
The Rams Team News:
Derby fans looking to watch the new signings in action are unlikely to be disappointed.
The likes of Nathan Tyson, Craig Bryson, Jason Shackell and even Chris Riggott are likely to be in action for additional match fitness following various injuries.
Player to watch: Kevin Kilbane
After missing out on midfielder John Eustace, Nigel Clough has moved to sign Hull City veteran on a six-month loan deal.
He is vastly experienced and has appeared in 64 consecutive Republic of Ireland internationals.
He could be a very important ‘old head’ at Pride Park this season.
Villa Team News:
Player to watch: Charles N’Zogbia
French winger N’Zogbia has just made the switch to Willa after two sensational seasons at Wigan Athletic.
The pacy former Newcastle man cost his new side £9.5m and is sure to be a big hit in Birmingham if he replicates his recent form.
Exeter City (a) 0-1
Crewe Alexandra (a) 1-2
Morcambe (a) 1-1
Macclesfield Town (a) 2-2
Burton Albion (a) 3-1
Derby County vs. Birmingham City, Sat 6th August, 15:00pm, The Championship