Following the FA Cup defeat to Premier League Stoke City, The Rams are back in Championship action with an away trip to unpredictable Barnsley.
Keith Hill’s Tykes, who sit five points behind The Rams in 15th place, find it difficult to achieve consistent results with impressive victories over big-spending Leicester City and local rivals Leeds United overshadowed by poor performances against strugglers Doncaster Rovers and Millwall.
When Barnsley visited Pride Park earlier in the season the scoreline finished 1-1 but the away side probably deserved the win for their first-half display, which was excellent.
This is a tough game to call and Nigel Clough will be keen that his side gets back to winning ways as soon as possible. A win could be on the cards but much depends on the performance of the somewhat unpredictable and exciting Tykes.
Rams boss Nigel Clough is happy with the level of performance in the last couple of months: ‘We are looking to continue the consistency we have shown,’ said Clough.
‘We are very pleased with the posiiton we are in given the injuries we had in the first half of the season.
‘What has pleased us is the consistency of the performances most of the season, but especially in the last two months.’
The Tykes Team News:
Scottish winger Jim O’Brien is sidelined with a groin injury and is Keith Hill’s solitary injury concern.
Former Derby loan player Michael Tonge has just signer for the Tykes from Stoke and may come straight into the team.
Player to watch: Ricardo Vaz Te
It looked like former Bolton striker Vaz Te’s career was fizzling out after a disappointing 10 game spell with SPL side Hibernian.
He has, however, found excellent form on returning south of the border with an impressive haul of 12 goals in 24 games this season.
The former Portugal u21 international will be a great threat for his side and he certainly has the potential to trouble the Derby defense.
The Rams Team News:
Nathan Tyson is pushing for a start but it seems unlikely he will be risked with the Forest match next up for The Rams.
Nigel Clough will be keen to ensure he is fully fit for that one…
Spurs loanee Tom Carroll could make his debut depending on whether Paul Green is sold on deadline day. It would be a huge blow if he is.
Theo Robinson is still out but Steve Davies may be back in contention.
Player to watch: Ryan Noble
Sunderland youngster Noble came close to netting against Burnley on his second Derby debut.
He will have to weigh in with a few goals with the continued absence of Theo Robinson, although Steve Davies’ return may lessen the burden.
Match Facts & Stats
Derby County last 5:
Stoke City (h) 0-2
Burnley (a) 0-0
Coventry City (h) 1-0
Crystal Palace (h) 1-0
Hull City (a) 1-0
Barnsley last 5:
Millwall (h) 1-3
Leicester City (a) 2-1
Swansea City (h) 2-4
Doncaster Rovers (a) 0-2
Leeds United (h) 4-1
Derby County vs. Nottingham Forest, Tue 5th February, 12:15pm, The Championship