Cardiff City vs. Derby County
Cardiff City Stadium
The Rams travel to a ground where they have never played before, for an encounter in the Welsh capital at The Cardiff City Stadium. Dave Jones`s Cardiff City side started the season very strongly but they have suffered a recent run of poor form which has seen them avoid defeat in only one of their last six fixtures. Their goal scoring in the first six games was excellent, with 17 in those fixtures, but in the next six games, they have notched only twice. The Rams will be hoping to keep this run of few goals going after keeping their second clean sheet of the season in the 1-0 triumph over Bristol City, which saw the forging of a new partnership between Shaun Barker and Dean Leacock, who has returned to the heart of the Rams defence following a 10 month lay-off and an injury to Miles Addison which limited him to a substitute appearance on Saturday. It was so encouraging to see the defence deal so well against a decent attacking side, but Cardiff City have the league`s top scorer in Michael Chopra, so for The Rams to register even a point, the new partnership will need to be on form, in addition to the rest of the team functioning well, as they did on the whole on Saturday.
Nigel Clough was satisfied with the Bristol City victory and believes it could kick-start his side`s season:'That might be a little turning point, we will see when we go to Cardiff on Tuesday and play Sheffield Wednesday at home next Saturday,' said Clough, in conversation with the Derby Evening Telegraph, "We hope it is a springboard for us but we also know there is no magic cure or problem solved because we have won a game. We have still got an awful long way to go."
Bluebirds boss Dave Jones expressed his frustration to the official Cardiff City website: 'Inconsistency has been the big problem. One good game, one bad game. Players aren't doing what's been asked of them, some are going through a bad patch and they must work hard to get out of it."
Ten cap Swedish international and loan signing from Fulham, Fredrik Stoor, hopes to secure first team football with The Rams: "We will see how it goes first month. If things are working out and the club want me here and I want to be here, then I`d definitely like to make it a longer loan until January and then see what happens from there."
Cardiff City Team News:
Highly rated Wales midfielder Joe Ledley will be suspended for the match after he received a red card in Cardiff`s defeat to Sheffield Wednesday which resulted in a one match ban. Stephen McPhail returns from suspension and is likely to deputise for the young talent Ledley. Ross McCormack, City`s top scorer last season, and scorer of a penalty at Pride Park, is possibly going to return after a hamstring injury. Fellow forward Kelvin Etuhu, on loan from Manchester City, in out until November with an ankle injury.
Player to watch: Michael Chopra
It is hard to look beyond Chopra to find the Bluebird`s danger man. The 25 year old had 7 goals in 9 league games this season and 38 goals in 78 league appearances overall several spells with The Bluebirds. At this level, he is a highly dangerous marksman.
Derby County Team News:
It is not known whether Kris Commons will be fit for the game having sustained a hamstring injury in training. Stephen Pearson, another injury prone Scottish international, is set to be out for around a month with a small groin tear .The Rams skipper, Paul Connolly, is possibly going to miss out with a foot injury, but loan signing from Fulham, Fredrik Stoor is a readymade replacement. Long term injury victims Giles Barnes and Chris Porter remain sidelined, but Steve Davies is edging back towards fitness.
Player to watch: Dean Moxey
The excellent Moxey has one of the Championship`s top wingers to deal with in Chris Burke, the ex-Rangers and Scotland player, but he has shown that he is ready for the Championship since his summer move from Exeter City so if he plays as he has been doing, he will give Burke a real challenge.
Match Facts & Stats
Last 5: Derby County
Bristol City (h) 1-0
Crystal Palace (a) 0-1
Barnsley (h) 2-3
Sheffield United (h) 0-1
Nottingham Forest (a) 2-3
Last 5: Cardiff City
Sheffield Wednesday (a) 1-3
Aston Villa (a) 0-1
QPR (h) 0-2
Reading (a) 1-0
Newcastle United (h) 0-1
Derby County vs. Sheffield Wednesday, Saturday 3 October 2009 15:00, The Coco-Cola Football League Championship