Writer: Peter Simcox
Date:Monday December 25 2006
Rams look for Boxing Day cheer
The Rams will hope to give their loyal fans some Christmas cheer when they entertain Wolverhampton Wanderers at Pride Park on Boxing Day.
Mick McCarthy`s side sit in 10th position in the table, eight points behind the Rams, but are only four points of the play-off`s position.
Both sides played out draws on Saturday, the Rams coming away from Turf Moor with a hard fought point after the 0-0 draw with Burnley. However Wolves scraped a home 2-2 draw against Norwich City with an injury time equaliser from Jody Craddock.
Billy Davies' side, are seeking to extend a five-game winning run at Pride Park, and are free of any injury or suspension worries, with defender Marc Edworthy available after missing the draw at Burnley. Edworthy, a regular in Davies` side, was forced to miss the Rams' 0-0 draw at Burnley through suspension. He will return to the squad, but the performance of Richard Jackson in the draw at Burnley will give Davies a selection dilemma - but a nice one to have, for the Boxing Day clash.
Davies is looking forward to the home games over the Christmas period and had a special message to their loyal supporters.
Davies said: 'We have got two very big home games coming up now, against Wolves and Plymouth, and I would urge fans to get right behind us on both occasions because I know how much the team appreciate the support.
I look forward to seeing bumper crowds.
It is a real sign of how far we have come. We can command large crowds at Pride Park and the atmosphere should be tremendous.'
Wolves have a number of injury concerns, striker Jay Bothroyd (thigh) is in doubt, but winger Lewis Gobern has recovered from a thigh injury.
Mark Davies (knee) will likely miss out, as will Kevin O'Connor (hamstring) and Charlie Mulgrew (ankle).
Rams fans are being urged to book their seats for the Pride Park visit of Wolves (kick-off 3pm) on Boxing Day as soon as possible as ticket sales have passed the 30,000 mark.
Sales have been so good that tickets for Derby supporters are now only available in the home section of the South Stand. Tickets can also be bought online at http://www.shopdcfc.co.uk
Last time we met
12/9/2006 Wolves 0 Derby 1 (Howard)
Steve Howard ended his goal drought for Derby County in a fine 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux . Billy Davies` first signing for the Rams, Howard, enjoyed a memorable evening.
The centre-forward had done everything but score in his previous seven games since his £1m move from Luton Town.
He needed and deserved a goal, and popped up to head the winner 11 minutes before the break after excellent work by the lively Arturo Lupoli.
Wolves sat third before kick off and joint top on points but Derby produced their best all-round display of the season.
They rode their luck at times and Stephen Bywater saved a Jay Bothroyd penalty when the game was still goalless.
But you make your own luck in football and this was the Rams' first win against Wolves in 10 attempts since Tommy Johnson and Mark Stallard struck in a 2-0 victory at Molineux in November 1994.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Murray, Edwards, Breen, Craddock, Little, Potter, Olofinjana, Henry, Jones, Bothroyd, J.Johnson
Subs: Ikeme, Cort (for Bothroyd, 57), Clarke (for Henry, 77), Mulgrew, Ricketts (for Jones, 57).
Derby County: Bywater, Edworthy, Leacock, M.Johnson, Camara, Bisgaard, Malcolm, Oakley, Bolder, Lupoli, Howard
Subs: Peschisolido, Smith (for Lupoli, 77), Seth Johnson, Barnes (for Bisgaard, 68), Nyatanga (for Bolder, 90).
Scorer: Howard (34)
Referee: N Swarbrick (Lancashire).
Last five games between Derby & Wolves in Derby
Wolves 3 (Ndah, Huddlestone, Ganea)
Derby 3 (Idiakez (2), Reich)
Wolves 3 (Miller, Lescott, Cort)
Derby 1 (Christie)
Wolves 4 (Rae (2), Cooper, Miller)
Derby 3 (Simpson (2), Gabbiadini)
Wolves 3 (Goodman, Richards (2))
Date:Monday December 25 2006
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