A good second half at Bramall Lane last Saturday was not enough for The Rams to overcome their defensive frailties as they went down 4-2 to Sheffield United after creating enough chances to have taken something from the game. This defeat allowed some of the teams below them to make up a little ground but, with Charlton seemingly already relegated, a win here against visiting Barnsley would push Nigel Clough`s side closer to safety with only eight games remaining after the international break.
Derby`s injury worries are starting to clear a little with Stephen Pearson making a comeback in the reserves in midweek and Luke Varney now back and available for selection after missing time through illness. The game looks to have come too soon for Kris Commons, Chris Porter and Jay McEveley but they should all return after next week`s international break. Nigel Clough has not been able to bring in a new defender as he was looking to do during the week so it looks like the same back four who had some edgy moments last week at Bramall lane.
Barnsley pulled themselves out of the bottom three with a 3-1 victory at home to Crystal Palace on Tuesday night after they found themselves in the relegation places after a 1-0 reverse against Blackpool last weekend. They currently sit nineteenth in the table, three points behind The Rams, with both sides having games in hand on those around them. Former Derby defender Darren Moore looks as though he`ll miss out on a return to Pride Park having not trained for the majority of the week but Jon Macken has been involved recently for The Tykes and may start here after his move to South Yorkshire last season.
'Like any club, if somebody comes in with silly money we have to look at it, but it would take silly money to get one of those sort of players away.
'The way we are planning for next season, those two are certainly in our four or five strikers."
Nigel Clough talking to the Derby Evening Telegraph about his desire to keep Kris Commons and Rob Hulse at the club in preparation for next season.
Derby County Team News:
Chris Porter and Jay McEveley are both still doubts after missing out recently and Kris Commons is due for a comeback after the international break. Luke Varney returns to the squad after a recent bout of illness and new boy Barry Bannan may start after an impressive introduction in Sheffield last weekend.
Player to watch: Barry Bannan
Scottish youngster signed on loan from Aston Villa for a month initially who had a scoring debut at Bramall Lane last weekend. Came on as a halftime substitute and was heavily involved in the second half fight back being at the heart of a number of good moves.
Barnsley Team News:
Adam Hammill and Darren Moore may face late fitness tests before the squad is named. Dennis Souza is back in the squad after patching up his differences with Simon Davey and Andranik Teymourian is available again after suspension.
Player to watch: Jamal Campbell-Ryce
Pacey striker who is Barnsley`s leading scorer with nine goals so far this season, signed from Southend United on the last day of the summer transfer window of 2007 and has recently signed a new contract to tie him to the club until 2011.
Match Facts & Stats
Last five results
Doncaster Rovers (A) 1-2 Savage
Swansea City (H) 2-2 Porter (2)
Bristol City (H) 2-1 Porter, Hulse
Southampton (A) 1-1 Davies
Sheffield United (A) 2-4 Hulse, Bannan
Queens Park Rangers (H) 2-1 Bogdanovic, de Silva
Cardiff City (A) 1-3 Macken
Birmingham City (H) 1-1 Mifsud
Blackpool (H) 0-1
Crystal Palace (H) 3-1 Campbell-Ryce, Hills (og), Mifsud
A victory here against another side in a similar position to The Rams going into the international break would surely leave Nigel Clough`s side on the brink of safety and they will take this 3-1.
4th April v Burnley (Coca Cola Championship) Pride Park