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Derby County vs. Reading

Derby County
vs.
Reading

Pride Park Stadium

28/11/09

15:00

The phrase 'must win' and 'home game' appearing in the same sentence is an all too familiar sight for Rams fans this season. Derby's form at Pride Park is of play-off standard, but the failure to pick up a single win on the road is a huge cause for concern and means the onus is on the players to perform on home soil.

Reading visit the home of The Rams in an attempt to avoid defeat for the fourth game in a row. The Royals enjoyed their first home win in 11 months as they triumphed over Blackpool at the weekend and confidence will be high as a result.

To keep the good home going by beating Reading, Nigel Clough's side will need to score against a defence they haven't breached for five games, and keep solid at the other end, having conceded 15 goals in five games against The Royals.

Vital Quotes:

Speaking to the official club website about the Reading game, Gary Teale refuses to believe the game is a must win 'People are saying it is a six-pointer, but it is still really early in the season and a little too early to be talking about that,' he said,'The fact is we're at home and it is an opportunity to pull away from Reading, and hopefully by taking the game to Reading we can get the three points. We can't put our finger in the contrast in fortunes between our home and away form, but with 30,000 behind you it doesn't do anything but help you get on the front-foot.'

Royals winger Jobi McAnuff sees the experience in the Derby squad and the Rams fans as a threat: 'They've got a lot of old, experienced heads in the team that know how to get results so we know we'll have to be at our best,' he said, 'They have great fans up there and that's one thing that we're going to have to do, start well to quieten them down a bit. Every game is tough but the ones against the sides around us are the ones that give us a chance to move up the table.'

Derby County Team News:

Stephen Pearson could return to the side having missed the Swansea defeat with a groin injury. Paul Connolly has an injured hip but would have missed out with suspension anyway. Jay McEvely, Miles Addison, Lee Hendrie and Lee Croft are in contention but Kris Commons and Steve Davies are still out. Recently signed striker DJ Campbell is in line to appear, and The Rams will almost certainly partner either him or fellow Leicester City loanee Paul Dickov with Rob Hulse, the only of our three fit strikers who doesn't play for our East Midlands rivals.

Player to watch: Shaun Barker

Centre-half Barker will need to be in good form to keep ex-Ram Rasiak at bay. Rasiak scored the winner against Blackpool on Saturday but Barker has been in good form and should be able to deal with the big Pole if he continues.

Reading Team News:

Shane Long and Chris Armstrong are pressing for an appearance. Striker Long had an ankle injury which has cleared up and Armstrong has not featured this season after undergoing a knee operation. Stiker Noel Hunt is still out but fellow front-man Simon Church may be available following an injury.

Player to watch: Jobi McAnuff

The tricky winger has a cultured right foot and a bit of pace which enables him to beat his full-backs when on form. Whether Jay McEvely or Dean Moxey starts at left back on Saturday, there will be a challenge for them to face.

Match Facts & Stats

Last 5: Derby County

Swansea City (a) 0-1

Coventry City (h) 2-1

Ipswich Town (a) 0-1

QPR (h) 2-4

Middlesbrough (a) 0-2

Last 5: Reading

Blackpool (h) 2-1

Ipswich Town (h) 1-1

Coventry City (a) 3-1

Leicester City (h) 0-1

QPR (a) 1-4

Next Fixtures:

Derby County vs. Reading, Saturday 28 November 2009 15:00, The Coca-Cola Football League Championship


Writer:RobB
Date:Friday November 27 2009
Time: 3:08PM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
P Brighton 44 28 8 8 92 35
2 Newcastle 43 26 7 10 85 37
3 Reading 44 24 7 13 79 1
4 Sheff Wed 44 23 9 12 78 15
5 Huddersfield 43 24 6 13 78 2
6 Fulham 44 21 13 10 76 27
7 Leeds Utd 44 22 7 15 73 14
8 Norwich 44 19 9 16 66 12
9 Brentford 44 18 9 17 63 12
10 Derby County 44 17 12 15 63 2
11 Preston 43 16 13 14 61 5
12 Aston Villa 44 16 13 15 61 0
13 Cardiff 44 16 11 17 59 -2
14 Barnsley 44 15 12 17 57 0
15 Wolves 43 15 10 18 55 -2
16 Ipswich 44 13 16 15 55 -6
17 Bristol City 44 14 9 21 51 -6
18 Burton 44 13 12 19 51 -12
19 Q.P.R. 44 14 8 22 50 -12
20 Forest 44 13 9 22 48 -11
21 Birmingham 44 11 14 19 47 -22
22 Blackburn 44 10 15 19 45 -15
23 Wigan 44 10 11 23 41 -16
R Rotherham 44 5 6 33 21 -58
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