Date:Sunday December 27 2009
St. James' Park
The Rams travel north to face the league leaders Newcastle United. Although Nigel Clough's Derby team have now lost their last two games, County are something of a bogey team for Chris Houghton's Magpies; in the terrible Premiership season over a third of The Ram's points were gained against Newcastle, a win at Pride Park and a point at tomorrow's destination. Having said that, it will be very tough to beat a side which has won five and drawn four of their last nine home games. After a couple of poop and limp home displays, Rams fans will be expecting more from their team, especially after the 1-0 away win at Watford a couple of weeks ago in the last game away from Pride Park.
Derby boss Nigel Clough was frustrated with his side against Blackpool and admits he doesn't know what to expect against Newcastle: 'We seemed incapable of doing the simple things,' said Clough. 'We looked very nervous and very short of confidence. The confidence is very fragile and we looked short of ideas. At times we couldn't pass the ball to a white shirt. We relied on our wide players to create things and I don't think they put in one useful cross and the back four also struggled.
On the daunting trip to Newcastle on Monday, Clough added: 'We could go to Newcastle and get a result or we could lose 5-0 - at the moment I'm not sure where my money would be.'
Alan Smith is expected to be fit for Newcastle this weekend after missing the game against Sheffield Wednesday. Chris Houghton has no new injury worries for the St. James' Park clash.
The midfielder signed from Bolten has been rattling in the goals this season from midfield. He has 10 in the league so far and is clearly one of the best players in the division.
Dean Moxey is suspended after being sent off late on in the defeat to Blackpool. Nigel Clough hopes that either Shaun Barker, Dean Leacock of Miles Addison will be fit for the game as a result of the problems at the back and Fredrik Stoor's retun to Fulham.
With the defence still having major injury and suspension worries, it will be down to the forwards to decide the outcome of this game.
Last 5: Derby County
Blackpool (h) 0-2
Doncaster Rovers (h) 0-2
Watford (a) 1-0
Preston North End (a) 0-0
West Brom (h) 2-2
Last 5:Newcastle United
Sheffield Wednesday (a) 2-2
Middlesbrough (h) 2-0
Barnsley (a) 2-2
Coventry City (a) 2-0
Watford (h) 2-0
Millwall vs. Derby County, Saturday 2 January 2010 17:20, The F.A. Cup
Date:Sunday December 27 2009
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