Writer: Peter Simcox
Date:Saturday January 5 2008
Derby County v Sheffield Wednesday
FA Cup Third Round
Sunday, 6th January 2008, 2:00 pm
The Rams league battle takes a break this weekend when they entertain Championship side Sheffield Wednesday in the third round of the FA Cup.
Both sides have struggled in the league this season the Owls sitting in 19th spot on the Championship table on 28 points, only one point from the relegation zone. They are coming off a vital 2-1 home victory against Preston North End, Akpo Sodje and a late penalty from Francis Jeffers giving them victory.
The Owls have three former Rams players in their squad. Goalkeeper Lee Grant and striker Marcus Tudgay, who both came through Derby`s youth ranks, also fellow striker Deon Burton.
The Rams and Owls have been drawn together six times previously in the FA Cup and the Owls have gone on and won five of them, the Rams will hope to change that on Sunday.
In team news the Rams have new loan signing Danny Mills available, and youngster Lewin Nyatanga returns to the squad after completing a loan spell at Barnsley.
But the Rams are still struggling with injuries, Stephen Bywater, Jay McEveley, Dean Leacock Andy Todd, David Jones, Rob Earnshaw, Stephen Pearson, Andy Griffin and Marc Edworthy are all unavailable.
New Argentinean striker Emanuel Villa is unavailable as the Rams wait for his international clearance to come through.
Brian Laws should be able to welcome veteran Steve Watson back into his squad. The former Newcastle, Everton and Aston Villa stalwart missed the Owls` last two games with a hamstring injury.
Richard Wood and Wade Small are approaching full fitness after shoulder and hamstring injuries respectively, but Sunday is likely to arrive too quickly for them to feature. Frenchman Toann Folly is also available despite the fact he has recently handed in a transfer request.
In the event of a replay the game will take place at Hillsborough on Tuesday 15th January with a 7.45pm kick off.
Derby (from): Price, Oakley, Mills, Johnson, Barnes, Mears, Moore, Feilhaber, Holmes, Teale, Lewis, Miller, Fagan, Macken, Nyatanga, Hinchliffe, Davis.
Sheffield Wednesday (from): Grant, Bullen, Hinds, Beevers, Spurr, Watson, Johnson, Whelan, Folly, O`Brien, Sodje, Burton, Esajas, Tudgay, Jeffers, Gilbert, Lunt.
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)
Date:Saturday January 5 2008
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