The Rams travel to Portman Road to try to register back-to-back league wins for the first time in months.
The functional win over Bristol City at the weekend was Derby’s first in 11 matches, but they did deserve a result and Nigel Clough will have been delighted that his side managed to turn chances into goals.
Could more goals be on the way? It looks that way given Ipswich’s dire defensive record (Paul Jewell’s team have conceded more times than any other side in the division this season) but The Tractor Boys did end a seven match losing run with a fine come-from-behind 5-3 win against in-form Barnsley last weekend.
It is an intriguing match-up and should provide both sets of fans with some entertainment.
Nigel Clough thinks Ipswich will be a big test for his side: ‘The win against Bristol puts that little bit more belief into the players. Ipswich will be a different camp after getting a win at Barnsley.
‘We saw Ipswich several times during their losing run and they weren`t playing that badly. They were unlucky a couple of times with the timings of goals and things like that.
‘They looked out of it against Barnsley, who had won five out of six, and they come back and score five in the second half which pretty much sums up the nature of the Championship.’
Former Rams manager Paul Jewell has revealed that he believed, when he left the club, that Nigel Clough was the man for the job: ‘When I left I told Adam Pearson that I thought he (Nigel Clough) was the right man for the job. I just felt that they needed the feel-good factor back after a tough few years.
‘I thought Nigel Clough was the natural choice because of his dad (Brian). I think the fans just needed someone who was synonymous with Derby in the past.’
The Tractor Boys Team News:
Influential midfielder Grant Leadbitter will return to the Ipswich side following injury.
Goalkeeper David Stockdale has been recalled by Fulham following an injury crisis at his parent club. Arran Lee-Barrett will replace him between the sticks.
Player to watch: Keith Andrews
Midfielder Keith Andrews is on loan from Blackburn Rovers and has been one of Town’s star performers this season.
He scored a thumping volley from outside the box and a powerful header in the win over Barnsley.
Blackburn boss Steve Kean will surely want to recall the Republic of Ireland midfielder at the end of his loan spell.
The Rams Team News:
Top-scorer Theo Robinson should return to the squad after an injury scare in the week.
Callum Ball is likely to continue upfront after netting his first career goal against Bristol City.
Player to watch: Callum Ball
Ball slammed home a great goal against The Robins last weekend and has shown some mettle in recent weeks, mixing it up with various imposing centre-backs.
He will gain confidence from that strike and hopefully he can go on to become a regular fixture in the Derby side.
Match Facts & Stats
Derby County last 5:
Bristol City (h) 2-1
Crystal Palace (a) 1-1
Brighton & Hove Albion (h) 0-1
West Ham United (a) 1-3
Hull City (h) 0-2
Ipswich Town last 5:
Barnsley (a) 5-3
Watford (h) 1-2
Burnley (a) 0-4
Reading (h) 2-3
Nottingham Forest (a) 2-3
Derby County vs. Leeds United, Mon 26th December, 13:00pm, The Championship