The Rams make the long trip down south in great form on the back of three wins from the last four Championship matches.
Victories over Blackpool, Nottingham Forest and Doncaster Rovers have seen Nigel Clough’s Derby side propel themselves up the table into the top half and they are now in with a slim chance of making the play-offs
It would take a remarkable chain of results to achieve this, but it is pleasant to be looking up in stead of down as the end of the season approaches.
Brighton & Hove Albion lost for the first time in 2012 against Blackpool who saw off The Seagulls coutesy of two Kevin Phillips goals and an effort from ex-Ram Ian Evatt in a 3-1 success.
Albion sit in nineth place and a point off the top 6. Gus Poyet has done a great job in steering his side from League One to a comfortable finish in the Championship, which could get even better if they continue their tremendous home form; the fourth best in the division.
Rams winger Ben Davies is looking forward to his, and Derby’s, first visit to the Amex Satium: ‘The lads were talking about Tuesday on the way back from Doncaster, it is a stadium where none of the lads have played before. It is a great place to go and play, it’s a brand new stadium and so it will be a good experience for the lads.
‘The pitch is meant to be excellent, they are a passing team who play at a high tempo and over the last few weeks they have probably been one of the in-form teams in the division.’
The Seagulls Team News:
Brighton fill-back Gonzalo Jara Reyes will miss out as he begins a ban for a straight red card picked up in the Blackpool defeat at the weekend.
Inigo Calderon looks likely to deputise for the Chilian.
Player to watch: Vicente
Former Spanish international Vicente has undoubted quality and was a major coup for Guy Poyet’s side.
He has struggled with injuries but the former Valencia midfielder, who won 38 caps for his country, scored an excellent brace against Portsmouth and has the ability to trouble any side in the league.
The Rams Team News:
The Rams have no fresh injury problems for the trip to Brighton following the win at Doncaster.
Jamie Ward is edging closer to a return but is expected to be out for at least another week with his thigh injury.
Player to watch: Paul Green
Green was superb in the 2-1 win over his former side Doncaster.
In his more familiar midfield role, he was busy and at the heart of many midfield moves leading to Derby chances.
Should he leave in the summer, he will be sorely missed.
Match Facts & Stats
Derby County last 5:
Doncaster Rovers (a) 2-1
Nottingham Forest (h) 1-0
Watford (h) 1-2
Blackpool (h) 2-1
Birmingham City (a) 2-2
Brighton & Hove Albion last 5:
Blackpool (a) 1-3
Portsmouth (h) 2-0
Cardiff City (a) 2-2
Doncaster Rovers (a) 1-1
Ipswich Town (h) 3-0
Derby County vs. Crystal Palace, Sat 24th March, 15:00pm, The Championship