Derby County return to action tonight after a gutting late defeat against Sheffield United on Saturday afternoon to face Championship rivals Reading at Pride Park, desperate to get three points on the board in their current predicament.
Despite winning ten points from their opening nine games, a total that would have kept them above the dotted line in normal circumstances, a 12-point deduction has left them nine points adrift of safety and in real danger of the drop even without potentially being docked further points.
They face a Reading side who are also facing a points deduction at some point in the near future, but have been on a roll since the last international break, winning ten points from a possible 12 and looking to claim another six from their two away ties against the Rams and Cardiff City before the next interval.
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After only claiming their first clean sheet of the season last weekend in their ten competitive games thus far, Reading have the tendency to leak goals and this is a weakness tonight’s hosts could potentially exploit in their quest to record a much-needed three points.
However, the Royals have a special weapon in John Swift who has recorded 11 goal contributions in nine league games and could be the difference once again in this tie after setting up Alen Halilovic for their winner against Boro on Saturday afternoon.
Ahead of this clash, we have the information you need to know as the Rams and Royals prepare to go into battle.
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Latest team news
Derby man Festy Ebosele is set to re-join first-team training sessions but won’t be ready for tonight’s match, with a potential appearance on the bench on the horizon for their match against Swansea City at the weekend.
He is scheduled to join the group on Thursday, with good news on longer-term absentees Krystian Bielik and Colin Kazim-Richards, although like Ebosele, they won’t be ready for Reading.
Both, however, could join up with the first team after the international break, in a major boost for the Rams.
Kelle Roos is suspended for this game after his red card at the weekend, with Ryan Allsop confirmed to be starting in his place. This could allow outcast David Marshall to claim a place on the bench.
For the visitors, they will be hoping to have summer signing Scott Dann in contention for this match, with Tom Holmes, Tom McIntyre, Liam Moore and Michael Morrison all ruled out for this match.
Femi Azeez, Lucas Joao, Yakou Meite and Felipe Araruna all remain out too – with Andy Rinomhota not expected to be ready in time for this game – but could make the matchday squad for the Cardiff City clash this weekend.
In slightly better news for the Berkshire outfit, Luke Southwood, Dejan Tetek, Junior Hoilett and Dejan Tetek are all expected to be fit for this match after sustaining injuries against Middlesbrough at the weekend.
Is there a live stream?
For UK viewers, the match is available on the Sky Sports Football Red Button and for phone/tablet users, the Sky Sports app.
For international viewers, you can pay to watch the match through Royals TV and Rams TV. However, this isn’t available to UK viewers who will either need to watch the game through Sky or via a Now Month subscription.
What time is kick-off?
The match at Pride Park kicks off at 7:45pm along with the five other Championship ties taking place tonight.
Here they are:
- Barnsley vs Nottingham Forest
- Fulham vs Swansea City
- Luton Town vs Coventry City
- Millwall vs Bristol City
- Peterborough United vs AFC Bournemouth