Date: 28th October 2007 at 3:42am
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On Saturday two former Pride Park favourite will be doing their best to defeat the Rams and give Everton the three points.

Leon Osman enjoyed a loan spell with the Rams between January and May 2004, when George Burley signed him and he went on to score three goals in 17 appearances, and the midfielder credits Derby with helping him to make the grade at Everton.

Osman returned from his loan spell and made his breakthrough into the Everton starting line up in 2004/05 when his seven goals helped the Toffees to finish fourth.

The 26-year-old reflected on his time at Pride Park, he said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Derby. It was a loan spell which I needed at the time and I’ve got fond memories of my time playing there.”

The Rams were struggling in the league at the time and Osman played his part in keeping the side in the Championship. “They were struggling in the relegation zone when I joined them and when I was there we managed to get ourselves out of trouble, so that was pleasing.”

The midfielder will not have much sympathy for the Rams’ on Saturday he added: “It’s an important game in the Premier League for us on suday, as they all are, and it’s one we’re looking to win.
‘Derby are a newly-promoted side and every game to them is going to be a cup final, so we’ve got to make sure that we match them.
‘It’s always tough when you first come into the league, but they’ll be battling as hard as they possibly can.

The other former Rams favourite returning on Sunday is Lee Carsley. The midfielder joined the Rams in 1992 as a trainee and played 147 games scoring five goals before joining Blackburn Rovers for £ 3.4 million in 1999, he joined the Toffees in 2002.

Sunday`s clash is a huge game for the Rams and they will be sweating on the fitness of central defenders Dean Leacock and Claude Davis who both luck doubtful with groin injuries, while Andy Todd is also missing. Billy Davies has decided not to bring back Michael Johnson from Sheffield Wednesday or Lewin Nyatanga from Barnsley, who both are on 24-hour call back deals.

It looks like he will go with Darren Moore and either Jay McEveley or Tyrone Mears in the centre back role with Bob Malcolm slipping into the back line. Or will Davies try big Steve Howard in the centre back position; we`ll all now on Sunday at 2pm.

Giles Barnes is also in line for a starting spot after his return from a foot injury, it will be a great game my predication is Derby County 2 Everton 1

 

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