Often Partisan

Restoring Pride: Derby Preview

It’s back to the football today as Blues travel to Pride Park looking to restore some pride of their own after the home defeat to Hull last weekend.

Derby County

Derby go into the game off the back of back-to-back away defeats against Crystal Palace and Millwall but their home record is much better with the Rams having only lost one home league game all season.

The big question for Nigel Clough is who will start the game between the sticks for Derby with former England u21 keeper Frank Fielding back to full fitness. His deputy former Blues trainee Adam Legzdins has been in good form and has kept two clean sheets whilst deputising for the injured Fielding. Jamie Ward is still coming back to fitness and Clough may also rest Jeff Hendrick.

Blues

Blues were rocked by the news that left-back David Murphy, who came off in the 85th minute of the game against Hull is out for the remainder of the season thanks to a knee injury. With Paul Robinson signed up until January the former WBA and Bolton left back could well be shuffled across from the centre of defence whilst Curtis Davies is likely to be restored to the side after injury.

Loanee Rob Hall joins the squad for the game after signing on loan deadline day from West Ham United and the England u19 man is a consideration for the left flank as Blues look to add some pace to what was a distinctly pedestrian side against Hull City.

With this game on TV it will be a good chance to see if Blues can fare any better away from home than their recent St Andrews travails. The key to Blues is the defence; playing too high a line has cost Blues dearly in recent weeks due to the lack of pace at the back and even the restoration of Curtis Davies won’t reduce that much. If Blues can keep it solid at the back and maybe counterpunch with pace on the flanks they have a chance but I wouldn’t bank on anything at this moment.

The match is live on Sky Sports 2 with kick off at 5:20pm.

Match previews sponsored by EZE Group - Lifestyle Experts

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