Newly promoted Sheffield Wednesday visit Pride Park for the opening day of the new Championship season and only one game into the season Nigel Clough has work to do with his side. Following the incredible 5-5 draw with Scunthorpe United on Tuesday night improvements are needed at both ends of the pitch in order to continue the slow improvements being made season by season at the club.
Conceding five goals in a half is never a sign of an organised defence, especially against a League One side, and with the only real change at the back being the replacement of Jason Shackell with Richard Keogh the pressure will be on the newly appointed captain so show he is worthy of the transfer fee paid for him this summer. Having scored five goals you would expect Clough had no worries going forward but anyone who attended on Tuesday will realise that his side should have scored at least double that to put the game out of sight before the second-half comeback.
Dave Jones brings his Wednesday side to Pride Park following their promotion back to the Championship last season, made all the sweeter for doing so at the expense of Sheffield United. Jones has invested in the squad over the summer and has brought in a number of players who will look to help maintain the momentum from last season, signings including Chris Kirkland, Joe Mattock and Chris Maguire would certainly suggest Wednesday are not just here to make up the numbers and are looking at the top end of the table this season.
Richard Keogh talking to the Derby Evening Telegraph about the midweek Capital One Cup defeat:
‘We know what we did wrong and we understand what we need to do to see out games. We were 3-0 up at half-time and it could have been more. We should have been out of sight. I don’t think we took our foot off the pedal, it was just a bit of naivety but I don’t think the game will play on our minds tomorrow.”
The Rams Team News:
Summer signings Richard Keogh, Paul Coutts and Michael Jacobs could all start with James O’Connor also recovering from a knock to be included in the squad. Young Will Hughes could well make his first Championship start after impressing in the midweek thriller with Scunthorpe depending on the fitness of Jeff Hendrick and Craig Bryson.
Player to watch: Nathan Tyson
After struggling with injury throughout his first year at Pride Park Tyson will be desperate to repay the faith shown in him by Nigel Clough and to some extent the Derby fans after his move from Nottingham Forest last summer. He has looked sharper in pre-season and two goals in his last two appearances may signal a change in fortune for the rapid frontman.
The Owls Team News:
Gary Madine and Chris Maguire look set to be fit after both being replaced in the Capital One Cup clash with Oldham Athletic earlier this week and summer signing Joe Mattock and Chirs Kirkland should start. Chris Lines misses out with a knee injury.
Player to watch: Chris Maguire
Predictable, but the former Aberdeen striker will be keen to come back to Pride Park and show Nigel Clough exactly what he is capable of after never really being given a chance to shine for The Rams. Whatever the reason, falling out with Clough or just not considered good enough, he will be a threat if he can continue the form he showed on loan at Portsmouth at the back end of last term.
Match Facts & Stats
Last time around:
Sheffield Wednesday 0-0 Derby County
Saturday, 20th March 2010
v. Bolton Wanderers (Away) 21/08/12 20:00