Watford vs. Derby County
The Rams travel to the home of The Hornets in a bid to get their long-awaited first away win of the season. Watford are a side in form, and despite off the field financial difficulties, the club's playing staff have worked well and risen to 9th in the table. The Hornets are in excellent form at Vicarage road, and recently won 3-1 against a good QPR side. They have some good youngsters on loan from Premiership teams, who have helped propel the team to relative success, and the wait for an away win for Nigel Clough's team may well be going on a little longer after this fixture.
Nigel Clough is concerned he won't be able to play a single genuine centre half against Watford: 'Shaun Barker is certainly out and Dean Leacock is more than likely not going to feature as well. Dean's hamstring is still very tight and he has been unable to do anything since he came off on Tuesday at Preston, so I wouldn't imagine he will be involved. Jake Buxton only made his comeback in the reserves on Wednesday and he is still a little sore from that, and Miles Addison is also struggling with his foot. It means we could go into the game without any of our recognised centre-backs again. We thought we were over the worst of the injury problems - and we are in most positions - but at the back we're short on numbers again.'
Clough was speaking to the official website.
Following an injury to on loan defender Craig Cathcart, Jay DeMerit should get his first start since August. Hornets manager Malky Mackay said: "Jay came in and I thought he was great. Ideally we wanted to give him a reserve game but that wasn`t the way it worked out. He is an experienced international footballer and he will be in our plans." He was talking to the Watford Observer.
Watford Team News:
Watford's on-loan midfielder Henri Lansbury, who missed Monday's win against QPR with a hip problem, could play but will have a late fitness test. Jay DeMerit could start following his eye problems.
Player to watch: Tom Cleverley
On loan Manchester United midfielder Cleverly has scored 7 in 17 going in to this fixture. He is only 20 years old and is a big player for Malky Mackay's side.
Derby County Team News:
Defence is a major worry for Nigel Clough. he may line up without any recognised centre halfs against Watford with Shaun Barker definitely out and Leacock, Addison and Buxton doubtful. DJ Campbell should continue with Paul Dickov upfront, as Hulse may not be fit.
Player to watch: DJ Campbell
Leicester loanee Campbell has netted once and hit the woodwork, and he should have earned his side a penalty in his two appearances for Derby. He has been very lively upfront and provides some much needed pace.
Match Facts & Stats
Last 5: Derby County
Preston North End (a) 0-0
West Brom (h) 2-2
Reading (h) 2-1
Swansea City (a) 0-1
Coventry City (h) 2-1
Watford: Last 5
QPR (h) 3-1
Newcastle (a) 0-2
Crystal Palace (a) 0-3
Scunthorpe United (h) 3-0
Preston North End (h) 2-0
Derby County vs. Doncaster Rovers, Saturday 19 December 2009 15:00, The Coca-Cola Football League Championship