Writer: Peter Simcox
Date:Monday April 28 2008
Rams in Gunners line of fire
Derby County v Arsenal
Pride Park - (8pm)
Time is running out for the Rams with the record of the lowest points total in the premier League a distant view.
They will hope to gain three in tonight`s clash against Arsenal at Pride Park (8pm)
Derby has three opportunities remaining to get the four points and four goals required to avoid having the lowest points total ever in Premier League history.
The Gunners need a victory but the second automatic Champions League berth looks like it`s passed them bye.
Arsenal take an imposing record into tonight`s game, and are undefeated in 12 league and cup matches against the Rams.
They have won the last four in the Premier League, and the last three of those with an aggregate of 8-0, including 5-0 in the reverse fixture in September at the Emirates, when Emmanuel Adebayor bagged a hat-trick.
The last time the Rams beat the Gunners was on November 1st 1997, when Paulo Wanchope scored twice and Dean Saunders the other at the Baseball Ground.
That victory is Derby's only victory in 13 Premier League games against the Gunners, and their only victory in 21 meetings in all competitions.
Rams boss Paul Jewell is still searching for his first league win as manager of Derby and he will no doubt ask his players for a huge effort against the North London side.
Rams defender Alan Stubbs hopes they can win tonight for the fans. He said: "If anyone deserves anything from this season, it's the fans.
'We'd like to give them something to shout about. They have had to suffer more than anyone really.
'They have acted like proper football fans. They know that the team hasn't been good enough and they have tried to back them as well as they can.'
In Rams team news midfielder David Jones is a doubt with a tight calf and will face a late fitness test. Mile Sterjovski left early against the Hammers, but he hopes to have fully recovered to take his spot in the side.
The Gunners will be without winger Alexander Hleb, who is suspended while Abou Diaby (thigh), Mathieu Flamini and Bacary Sagna (both ankle) are also out.
Keeper Manuel Almunia is fit after a wrist problem, but Lukasz Fabianski could make his first top-flight start. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger belives the keeper is ready for a game.
'I've not made a decision yet about who will play in goal, but I will have a look at Lukasz Fabianski before the end of the season - and it could be on Monday.
'For me, he's class. He understands football, reads the game well and is quick.
'He is technically good with good co-ordination and has a good connection with the team," said Wenger.
Derby (from): Carroll, Moore, Leacock, McEveley, Mears, Sterjovski, Stubbs, Savage, Ghaly, Lewis, Miller, Villa, Earnshaw, Todd, Jones, Feilhaber, Price.
Arsenal (from): Fabianski, Toure, Gallas, Song, Clichy, Walcott, Fabregas, Gilberto, Denilson, van Persie, Adebayor, Lehmann, Almunia, Bendtner, Senderos, Eboue, Traore, Djourou
Referee - Andre Marriner (West Midlands)
Date:Monday April 28 2008
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