After the international break and a subsequent four-day stay in Marbella for warm weather training, the Rams are back in action this weekend - away to Huddersfield Town.
Spirits are high the Rams’ dressing room following the side’s 5-1 victory over Watford at Pride Park Stadium two weeks ago, combined with Theo Robinson’s last-minute equaliser at the Molineux the week before.
Simon Grayson’s men have endured a similar start to the Rams, and lie one place below Derby in the npower Championship table - but also on five points.
The Terriers have begun life in the division unbeaten on home soil, with a 2-0 victory over Barnsley and a 1-1 draw with the Rams’ fierce rivals Nottingham Forest.
Their only defeat of the campaign in the League came on the opening day of the season, a 1-0 defeat away at Cardiff City, courtesy of Mark Hudson’s last-gasp goal.
Derby County Team News
Rams boss Nigel Clough has revealed Paul Coutts (virus) is doubtful for the side’s trip to the John Smith’s Stadium.
If the former Preston North End midfielder does not recover in time, it could pave the way for fellow summer-signing Michael Jacobs’ first League start in a Rams’ shirt.
Elsewhere, striker Mason Bennett remains sidelined with the thigh injury he picked up in the under-21s’ 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday last weekend, whilst midfielder James Bailey (thigh) is back in full training.
Left-back Gareth Roberts is available for selection despite being substituted midway through the Rams’ 5-1 victory over Watford with a hamstring complaint, and Jake Buxton is pushing for a return to the starting XI after coming through 90 minutes in the under-21s’ win at Wednesday’s Middlewood training ground.
Shaun Barker (knee) remains sidelined for the entire season.
Huddersfield Town Team News
Sean Scannell and defender Joel Lynch remain major doubts for the Terriers ahead of the weekend’s visit of the Rams.
Scannell, a summer-signing from Crystal Palace, has been under treatment for a hamstring strain since limping off in the early stages of the 2-0 home win against Burnley on 25th August.
Former Nottingham Forest man Lynch suffered an Achilles injury in the 2-2 draw at Ipswich, which kept him out of Wales’ World Cup qualifiers in the last week.
Elsewhere, Oscar Gobern is also a doubt, whilst Paul Dixon and Oliver Norwood are available for selection following their respective international appearances.
Manager Nigel Clough: "It’s not just Huddersfield we’re looking forward to, but the week itself.
“After Saturday we’ve got two home games to come against Charlton and Burnley, which is something to relish. We’ve got six games before the next break, so we just want to keep performing and get into that top half.
“We know we’re capable of doing just that, if we perform to the same standard and tempo in the coming games.
“What we want to do is build up a resistance of losing games and having lost only one game in regular time this season, we’re showing signs of doing that.
“After gaining promotion last season, Simon Grayson has added to his squad and although they will be gelling as a team still the players he has signed are of a good quality.
“I think given the quality he has signed, they will come together quickly and like ourselves they’ve had an encouraging start to the season.
“As we saw with Sheffield Wednesday, the sides coming up from League One are just as tough as the sides who have come down from the Premier League.”
The Rams have sold out of their initial allocation of 2,000 tickets for the game at the John Smith’s Stadium.
However, supporters are reminded that tickets will be available on the day at Huddersfield, with payment by cash on arrival.
All ticket prices remain the same; however the Under-8 ticket is not available.
Full details can be found by CLICKING HERE
Man In The Middle
Trevor Kettle from Berkshire will take charge of proceedings at the John Smith’s Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
The game will be Kettle’s first npower Championship fixture of the season, after taking charge of two League Two fixtures, one Capital Cup and one League Cup game.
In his four games this season, Kettle has brandished 12 yellow cards and one red card.
His last Derby County fixture came back in 2009, in the Rams’ 2-0 defeat at home to Doncaster Rovers.
Last season Tierney dished out a total of 96 yellow cards and eight red cards in the 22 games he officiated.
Fancy A Flutter?
Coral, the official betting and gaming partner of dcfc.co.uk
, are offering odds of 2/1
for the Rams to secure their first away victory of the 2012-13 npower Championship season.
A draw is priced at 12/5, and Coral are also offering odds of 13/10 for a home victory for Grayson’s men.
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