Preston North End (H)
Derby County return to action after their disappointing 2-0 reverse at Portman Road looking to put one over on a Preston North End side they put out of the Carling Cup earlier this season. On that night in August Paul Green scored the only goal of the game as Derby progressed to eventually meet Brighton in the next round, at that point Preston were the early season pace-setters having won three and drawn one of the their opening four games of the season. Twelve months ago it would have been impossible to talk about this match up without mentioning Billy Davis but both teams have put their contact with the Scotsman well behind them and it will be interesting to see if he gets another job in football any time soon after his treatment of both clubs.
Former North End man Claude Davis seems certain to miss out so new signing Darren Powell looks likely to keep his place in the centre of defence alongside Lewin Nyatanga with Martin Albrechtsen and Dean Leacock still on the sidelines through injury. Chris Hutchings has come out asking for more consistency from The Rams and they have certainly been up and down in recent weeks with heavy defeats handed out to Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday coupled with a mauling against Reading and a sound if not comprehensive defeat against Ipswich on Saturday that left Paul Jewell bemoaning a return to the form that left his side looking down in the early weeks of the season.
Preston go into the match on the back of two straight wins over Blackpool and at home to Barnsley on Saturday and have banged in eleven goals in their last five encounters. Wayne Brown will play his last game on loan from Hull City before returning to the Premiership new boys alongside former Ram Youl Mawene who has made sixteen appearances so far this season. North End also boast top flight experience with striker Neil Mellor having spent his formative years at Anfield before making the permanent switch to Deepdale and Richard Chaplow having spent
'We need to show greater consistency. We need to put back-to-back wins together.
'We've got to go on another run, so if we win two or three on the spin we are right back up there.'
Chris Hutchings talking to Radio Derby about the inconsistent run of results.
Derby County Team News:
Claude Davis looks sets to miss out after coming off against Ipswich whilst Kris Commons may struggle to start after he aggravated a thigh problem in the same game. Darren Powell will keep his place at the back if Davis is out.
Player to watch: Miles Addison
Scored his first goal for The Rams in his last home outing and has been setting the standard in midfield after making the berth alongside Paul Green his own.
Preston North End Team News:
Wayne Brown will go back to Hull City after this match and winger Ross Wallace expected to be passed fit.
Player to watch: Neil Mellor
Ex-Liverpool striker who has taken time to settle into his role but is North End's leading scorer this season with five in the league and seven in total, will be looking to add to his tally after being kept out in the Carling Cup earlier this season.
Match Facts & Stats
Last five results
Brighton & Hove Albion (A) 4-1 Villa (3), Ellington
Reading (A) 0-3
Leeds United (H) 2-1 Villa, Ellington
Sheffield Wednesday (H) 3-0 Commons, Addison, Stewart
Ipswich Town (A) 0-2
Preston North End
Watford (H) 2-0 Jones, Wallace
Southampton (H) 2-3 Jones, Elliott
Norwich City (a) 2-2 Brown, Mellor
Blackpool (A) 3-1 Brown (2), Mellor
Barnsley (H) 2-1 Chaplow, St Ledger
Derby have been inconsistent of late, losing on the road but putting together a great run at Pride Park whilst scoring goals for fun. It's gonna be another test of The Rams recent revival but they will have to much for North End and will take this encounter 2-1.
29th Nov v Burnley (Coca Cola Championship) Turf Moor