Derby County will be without their entire first-team squad and interim manager Wayne Rooney when they travel to Non League Chorley in the FA Cup on Saturday, according to the Press Association.
The Rams face the National League North side in the third-round on Saturday, but following a COVID-19 outbreak in the squad, have been forced to close their training ground.
Press Association have reported that after a number of positive tests from players and staff, Derby have been given no choice but to shut their Moor Farm training base until for the foreseeable future.
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However, the game won’t be postponed despite Derby being without their entire senior squad, – with FA Cup rules clearly stating that clubs must fulfil their fixture if they have a minimum of 14 players available, which includes those in the Under-23s and Under-18s, which means the Rams will be fielding an extremely youthful side at Victory Park for the round three tie.
This is a freak situation for the Pride Park outfit.
But in truth, the FA Cup wouldn’t have been high on Rooney’s priority list with the club still deep in a relegation battle and he would have potentially made a number of changes anyway.
And therefore, it becomes a great opportunity and experience for some of Derby’s youngsters to test themselves in a competitive game, albeit an extremely winnable one.