Fifth placed Derby take on a Cardiff side in tenth position, although only three points separate the teams.
Derby bagged their first three points haul in six games with the win over Portsmouth at the weekend and will be keen to build on that win in the night game against free-scoring Cardiff.
Rams boss Nigel Clough has hailed the form of centre-half Jason Shackell and revealed that the former Barnsley has been playing with an injury: ‘I thought he was great on Saturday. He has been struggling with his hip a little bit in the last few weeks but he hasn’t complained and he has battled on and he was back to his commanding best,’ said Clough ahead of the visit of Cardiff on Wednesday night.
‘Jason’s performance against Portsmouth was similar to that in his first game for us against Birmingham when he seemed to deal with any threat that came our way. He does look a very imposing centre-half when he is in that form.’
Derby weren’t Malky Mackay’s tips for strong starters: ‘Derby and Palace are the surprises of this division so far,’ said Mackay. “They are not clubs anybody outside of those clubs would have tipped to be right up there.
‘I know the two managers, Nigel Clough and Dougie Freedman, well and they are doing good jobs.’
The Rams Team News:
Mason Bennett may return to the starting line-up as injuries continue to bite The Rams’ forward line.
Theo Robinson limped out of the 3-1 win over Pompey at the weekend and schoolboy Bennett looks to be in pole position for s starting spot alongside Mason Bennett.
Mark O’Brien is likely to play through the pain barrier with a shoulder injury.
Player to watch: Chris Maguire
Scottish forward Maguire scored his first league goal for The Rams at the weekend and was clearly delighted to do so.
He has found his opportunities limited since signing from Aberdeen in the summer but looked very impressive in his first league start south of the border.
The Bluebirds Team News:
Bluebirds defender Anthony Gerrard is back after suspension.
Kenny Miller should be fit to face his former side following a head injury.
Player to watch: Aron Gunnarsson
Icelandic midfielder Gunnarsson has netted three goals in his last three league games for The Bluebirds and looks like a shrewd acquisition for Malky McKay’s side.
Match Facts & Stats
Derby County last 5:
Portsmouth (h) 3-1
Middlesbrough (a) 0-2
Reading (a) 2-2
Southampton (h) 1-1
Leicester City (a) 0-4
Cardiff City last 5:
Leeds United (a) 1-1
Burnley (h) 1-0
Barnsley (h) 5-3
Peterborough United (a) 3-4
Ipswich Town (h) 2-2
Peterborough United vs. Derby County, Sat 5th November, 15:00pm, The Championship