On Tuesday night, Derby County will begin another League Cup campaign. Last season, the competition was hugely valuable and provided supporters with an outlet from the doom and gloom of the league with a run which led to a semi-final clash with Premier League champions, Manchester United. The Rams will be hoping for another money-spinning and moral boosting run. Anything similar to last season would be a great achievement, and it would be excellent for Derby to become a team who frequently enjoys good cup runs after last season. Other than last season, we have enjoyed little recent success.
Robbie Savage has signed a new deal with the club until 2011, speaking to the official club website he said : ‘To be honest, despite my age, I still feel in great shape; I’ve just gone through my 18th pre-season campaign as a professional and it was one of my best. I think we could be at the start of something special at this club and to know I’m going to be part of it for the next two years gives me a buzz.’ Hopefully Robbie will continue his lung-busting performances, and continue to show an excellent attitude.
Derby Boss Nigel Clough is taking the League Cup seriously, admitting the potential importance of the competition in terms of building moral. Speaking to BBC Radio Derby, Clough said: ‘You only get a couple of chances to get to Wembley and this is on of them. We`ll be putting the best possible side out without risking anybody.’
Rotherham United Team News:
Rotherham United have problems in similar areas to the Rams, namely upfront. In the summer, they sold star striker, Reuben Reid, to West Brom. He had scored 18 goals in 41 appearences for the club. In trying to buy a replacement, Adam Le Fondre from Rochdale, the club were foiled as the players wage demands were too high, despite agreeing a fee with the club for the player. This leaves only two strikers at the club: Ryan Taylor and Drewe Broughton, although their goal threat is also present in midfielder Andy Liddell who has a good goal-scoring record. Forward Drewe Broughton broke his toe in training in July and will probably be out of action, worsening his team`s plight.
Former Derby Defender, Pablo Mills, is likely to play a role against his former employers. Highly tipped for a bright future whilst at Derby, he hasn`t enjoyed as much success as was once anticipated, however, ram fans will hope the curse will not strike again as it so often does.
Player to watch: Andy Liddell
Scottish veteran with an eye for goal, most notably in a long spell with Wigan Athletic, he poses a considerable threat.
Derby County Team News:
Key midfielder Paul Green is facing a late fitness check before the trip to the Don Valley Stadium. The player who began very promisingly against Peterborough with slick passing was withdrawn at half time with a bruised foot, which had been causing him some discomfort, and he needed an injection before the game so he could take any part at all. His replacement at the interval, danger man Kris Commons, is away on international duty with Scotland, and seeing as he showed flashes of brilliance on Saturday, rams fans will be eager to see him return unscathed from his trip north of the border to face Norway in a critical world cup qualifier for the Scots. Speaking to BBC Radio Derby, Nigel Clough confirmed that the strongest possible team will be fielded against the team who currently play their football in Sheffield. This would mean Robbie Savage, who signed a new contract today, tying him to the club until 2011, would play.
The striking department continues to be a worry for Clough`s men; Chris Porter is expected to be out until January with his troublesome hip, Giles Barnes is also a long term absentee, and Rob Hulse is unlikely to be totally match fit, although he may return to the side to ease some of the pressure off Steve Davies who got little change out of the Peterborough defense at the weeked. Luke Varney should be available for selection against the Millers, having been on the bench for Saturday`s win.
New signing Shaun Barker could be fit for the Carling Cup clash, although it is unlikely he would displace Buxton or Addison given their solid efforts against the Posh. Clough may give him a run-out, but he is a man who is taking the competition seriously.
Player to watch: Jake Buxton
Used to playing at lower league grounds, he could be a vital asset in helping the Rams progress to the next round.
Match Facts & Stats
Last 5: Derby County (all fixtures played in Championship)
Peterborough United (h) 2-1
Watford (a) 1-3
Charlton Athletic (h) 1-0
Reading (h) 0-2
Crystal Palace (a) 0-1
Last 5: Rotherham United (all fixtures played in League 2)
Accrington Stanley (h) 1-0
Exeter City (h) 0-1
Bradford City (a) 0-3
Morcambe (h) 3-2
Shrewsbury Town (h) 1-2
Scunthorpe United Vs. Derby County, Saturday 15th August 2009 15:00, The Coca-Cola Football League Championship