Cardiff City (H)
Derby County go into the second game of their Welsh double header on the back of two good results and if they take something from this game the whole season will have a different feel after some were talking about Paul Jewells` job being in danger only two weeks ago. A deserved victory last weekend against promotion chasing Sheffield United was followed up with a hard fought point at The Liberty Stadium on Tuesday and a win today will have The Rams looking at the right end of the table for the first time this season.
Things finally seem to be looking up for Jewells` men and maybe now things can settle down and he will be able to concentrate on the football rather than constantly being quizzed about the winless streak. There are still injury worries going into this afternoon`s clash with Commons and Hulse still doubtful after missing out in midweek but with options available to him Jewell will still be able to pick a strong side with Stephen Pearson back in the managers plan and Nacer Barazite having made his first start and both looking for a run in the side. Miles Addison has seemingly established himself in the side with a string of strong performances and appears to be the first name on the team sheet in the middle of the park at the moment.
Cardiff City have had a solid, if unspectacular, start to the season and last season`s FA Cup finalists will again be looking to push for promotion having shown their ambition by keeping hold of some of their main players over the summer despite links to Premiership clubs. The signing of the mercurial Jay Bothroyd over the summer may prove to be a masterstroke if Dave Jones can bring the best of the well travelled striker who undoubtedly has the talent, if not always the application, to make it at the highest level. The Bluebirds have been The Championships` draw specialists so far this season with four so far but have yet to taste defeat in the early part of the campaign and will prove a tough test for Derby at Pride Park.
"In the week building up to the Sheffield United game, I just felt a change around the place, around the training ground. I could just sense something was changing. The win was a big weight off everyone`s shoulders. We have got a victory now and, hopefully, we can kick on."
Rob Hulse talking to the Derby Evening Telegraph about the Sheffield United victory.
Derby County Team News:
Rob Hulse and Kris Commons both rated as 50-50 to play in this one after missing out in the midweek draw at Swansea. Pearson in contention to start after his surprise midweek appearance and goal, Jewell may switch back to two up front as The Rams return to action at Pride Park.
Player to watch: Tito VIlla
Due a goal after some lively performances after his recall to the side and is the only striker not to get off the mark after Rob Hulse`s winner against his former side last week. Has come close on a number of occasions and a goal will surely set him on a scoring run with this quality.
Cardiff City Team News:
Tony Capaldi, Mark Kennedy and Riccy Scimeca look set to miss out again after injury problems but Tom Heaton and Miguel Comminges are set to return to the team. A fully fit strike force of Jay Bothroyd, Ross McCormack and Paul Parry to choose from.
Player to watch: Ross McCormack
In fine form early season and has found the net four times so far although he hasn`t scored in three and will be looking to get back on the score sheet with Parry and Bothroyd pushing for a starting place.
Match Facts & Stats
Last 5 results
Southampton (H) 0-1
Preston North End (A) 1-0 Green
Barnsley (A) 0-2
Sheffield United (H) 2-1 Kilgallon (og), Hulse
Swansea City (A) 1-1 Pearson
Norwich City (H) 2-2 McCormack (2)
Milton Keynes Dons (H) 2-1 McCormack, Whittingham
Sheffield United (A) 0-0
Bristol City (H) 0-0
Barnsley (A) 1-0 Whittingham
Another tight game ahead at Pride Park but with growing confidence and on the back of two good results and performances Derby will continue their revival with a 1-0 win in this one.
27th Sept v Queens Park Rangers (Coca Cola Championship) Loftus Road