Derby County will look to extend their unbeaten run in the Championship to eight games when they travel to Birmingham City tomorrow.
That fine run has seen Gary Rowett’s men shoot up to second in the table and he will be desperate for three points at his former club to cement that position.
The Rams lost 2-0 to Manchester United last time out in the FA Cup, although they did put up a sturdy resistance and it was a late goal from Jesse Lingard that opened the scoring.
Whilst Rowett did make changes for the tie at Old Trafford, he still fielded a strong side and will have been impressed with how those coming in coped.
However, only Richard Keogh and Scott Carson played from the regular back five and we expect Rowett to revert back to the defensive unit that played against Sheffield United tomorrow. That will mean Chris Baird is at right-back, Curtis Davies partners Keogh and Craig Forsyth on the left.
Andre Wisdom may feel hard done by but Baird has been a key reason for Derby’s solid showings in recent weeks and is defensively better than the ex-Liverpool man.
In midfield, Joe Ledley and Bradley Johnson are both doubts and the Welshman could be sorely missed in what will be a physical encounter at St. Andrew’s.
So, as at United, George Thorne will play alongside Tom Huddlestone in midfield with the ex-West Brom player beginning to get back to full fitness.
Further forward, the attacking midfield three almost pick themselves, with Matej Vydra once again likely to be the key man for Derby. He will come back into the side after starting on the bench against Jose Mourinho’s side.
Tom Lawrence brings creativity and imagination to his left whilst Andi Weimann is a hardworking option down the right.
Rowett has another dilemma with who to start up front, although the fact Dave Nugent didn’t get a minute against the Premier League side suggests he might be lined up for the Blues clash.
Thoughts, Derby fans? What would your team be? Let us know in the comments below.
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