Phillip Cocu has made two changes to his Derby County side for this afternoon’s Sky Bet Championship clash against Preston North End at Pride Park Stadium (3pm kick-off).

He has handed defender Craig Forsyth a first appearance in just over a year after recovering from a serious knee injury.

The left-back injured his anterior cruciate ligament in Derby’s home game against Aston Villa in early November 2018.

After working his way back to full fitness and also playing for Derby’s Under-23 side over the last few months, Forsyth has been handed a start in central defence with Scott Malone and Matthew Clarke sidelined with knee problems of their own.

Elsewhere, forward Mason Bennett makes his second league start of the season and comes into the side in place of Jack Marriott.

Preston, meanwhile, arrive at Pride Park in second place and have made two changes from their win over Huddersfield Town before the international break.

Ben Pearson returns from suspension and Daniel Johnson starts after recovering from injury, while former Derby striker David Nugent is named on the bench.

Derby County: Roos, Forsyth, Shinnie, Bielik, Lawrence, Martin, Bennett, Holmes, Lowe, Davies (C), Bogle.

Substitutions: Hamer, Wisdom, Paterson, Dowell, Waghorn, Marriott, Evans.

Preston North End: Rudd, Fisher, Pearson, Davies, Browne (C), Johnson, Rafferty, Stockley, Bauer, Maguire, Barkhuizen.

Substitutes: Ripley, Storey, Ledson, Gallagher, Potts, Nugent, Bodin.