We are approaching do or die time for Derby County while a glimmer of hope still remains for them to achieve an unthinkable great escape from relegation this season.
The Rams have scored the joint-second lowest goals in the division this term and are 20 points from safety with 27 cup finals remaining. Wayne Rooney’s men took an admirable four points against the league’s best two teams in Bournemouth and Fulham in their last couple of fixtures but need to build on that with three points this evening.
Derby have conceded the second least goals in the division despite only picking up 22 points from 19 games, and therefore could maybe sacrifice a bit of that solidity to throw caution to the wind in the attacking third. Rooney will be wary however, of not going too far the other way and shipping goals as the attacking personnel at his disposal is very limited for Championship level.
Lee Buchanan, Sam Baldock, Krystian Bielik and Jack Stretton are unavailable for tonight’s match, decreasing Rooney’s options further.
Here, then, we have taken a look at two tweaks Wayne Rooney could implement ahead of Derby versus QPR…
Colin Kazim-Richards has had a very stop start 2021/22 campaign after missing out for an extended period due to injury at the beginning of the season.
The 37-time Turkey international has the guile and experience however though, to link-up very effectively with the rest of the Rams’ attacking contingent and ask some more pressing questions of the Rangers backline.
Quiz: 30 questions about some of Derby County’s best strikers from the last 5 years – Can you score 30/30?
Louie Sibley has struggled to kick on at Derby after a very exciting 2019/20 season and has only started eight league games this term.
Despite only showing it in flashes, the 20-year-old possesses undeniable quality in the final third and such that Rooney should take a chance on in these circumstances.
Jason Knight could drop into central midfield and provide a spot further forward for Sibley to take up. With Sibley, Tom Lawrence and Kazim-Richards in the front three there is a nice blend of youth, experience and class for the likes of Jimmy Dunne and Yoann Barbet to contend with.