The Rams make the journey to Wales to face a Swansea City side who haven´t dropped a single point on home soil so far rhis season. Nigel Clough´s Derby side will be looking to end that run and have good reason to be confident, after smashing Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough in their last two matches. Derby have indeed been playing some superb football, but they will need to step their game up in this away fixture, as Swansea have been so impressive at The Liberty so far this term.
Rams striker Shefki Kuqi, on loan from Swansea, is keen to give his team-mates a helping hand with some inside-info on his parent club, but still wishes he was lining up for The Rams today: ‘Of course, it is frustrating not to be able to play, especially with the team playing well,’ said Kuqi.
‘You want to just keep going and be on the team but that’s football and I’m confident the lads will go there and get something.
‘In one way, I can understand why Swansea don’t want me to play but in another way, I don’t really, because if they didn’t want me, I don’t see any reason why they should stop me from playing against them. But I can’t do anything about it.
‘However, I will have a chat with the lads and if they want some information on Swansea, I will be more than happy to help them out.’
Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers recognises the threat that Derby possess, but has highlighted his own side´s excellent recent form: ‘They have got some really good players and they will be confident after two good home wins,’ Rodgers conceded.
‘But we are confident too, and we will do everything we can to extend our terrific home record. I think we have given the supporters something to be proud of and we want to keep that going.’
The Swans Team News:
Darren Pratley and David Cotterill face late fitness tests having been recently kept on the sidelines. Scott Sinclair is also a doubt to face The Rams.Angel Rangel could come into the side at left back, but has stated that the competition for places means he will not waltz back into the side.
Player to watch: Stephen Dobbie
Dobbie has bagged four goals this season in the league and is looking dangerous. He will carry Swansea´s main goal threat, especially with Scott Sinclair (eight goals this season) set to miss out.
The Rams Team News:
Luke Moore looks set to replace Shefki Kuqi, who cannot face his parent club as part of the loan agreement between the two sides. Chris Porter could give Derby a striking boost as he could feature from the bench having made another recovery from a hip injury. Alberto Bueno may be rested as he still needs time to adjust to the physical demands of English football.
Player to watch: Kris Commons
Commons has been in scintillating form in the last two matches at Pride Park. Nigel Clough has demanded consistency from his star man, so to score in three consecutive games would be the ideal way to display this, and it would go some way towards convincing the Rams´s boss to give him a new contract.
Match Facts & Stats
Sheffield United (h) 0-1
Hull City (a)0-2
Barnsley (a) 1-1
Crystal Palace (h) 5-0
Middlesbrough (h) 3-1
Coventry City(h) 2-1
Scunthorpe United (h) 2-0
Peterborough United (a) 3-1
Nottingham Forest (a) 1-3
Watford (a) 2-3
Derby County vs. Preston North End, Sat 16th October, 15:00pm, The Championship