Date:Friday March 5 2010
Pride Park Stadium
Watford travel north from London to face Derby at Pride Park in an attempt to inflict a third consecutive defeat to a Rams side who are at least playing some decent football.
A period of applause will take place in memory of former Ilkeston Town manager, Keith Alexander, who died hours after his Macclesfield side played Notts County.
Nigel Clough sees the next week as season-defining and hopes his side can pick up the points when it really matters: "After seven or eight days we could find ourselves back in the top half and relatively safe, or dragged back into the bottom six.
"The most important thing is to win the first one, and I think that will set it up." The reverse tie at Vicarage Road in December saw the Rams win their first away game of the season, and Clough said: "It took a long time for that first away win to come, but it was deserved on the day.
"The last two performances, against Swansea and West Brom, have been similar to that, but we havenʼt got our rewards.
"Weʼre looking to put a run together, and wherever we finish, weʼll hope to finish on a high.
Watford boss Malky Mackay sees the match in Derby as a chance to get revenge for the game earlier in the season: 'We got beaten down here against Derby and we've got to make amends for that, so we go into that knowing it will be a tough game.
'We will have to apply ourselves in the way that we've been applying ourselves in the last few weeks.'
Nigel Clough hopes that Rob Hulse will have recovered from a back problem to be able to face Watford on Saturday but he may not be able to displace Chris Porter who scored in the last game, a 1-3 defeat away at West Brom. Kris Commons is still injured and Jay McEveley serves the final game of his his suspension but Dean Leacock and Steven Davies could make returns to the squad.
Porter has a brilliant scoring record considering his injury woes, with five goals in six starts and ten additional sub appearances. He scored against Watford with a header at Vicarage Road to earn The Rams a first away win of the season.
Watford manager Malky Mackay could give a Hornets debut to winger Will Buckley, the victim of a thigh problem. Tom Cleverley is suspended after getting a straight red card away at Scunthorpe and defender Jay DeMerit will have a late fitness test.
Having shown no attacking threat whatsoever in his loan sting with The Rams, is it written in the stars that the former Boro man will net against his former employers?
Last 5: Derby County
West Brom (a) 1-3
Swansea City (h) 0-1
Preston North End (h) 5-3
Birmingham City (h) 1-2
Newcastle United (h) 3-0
Last 5: Watford
Newcastle United (h) 1-2
Scunthorpe United (a) 2-2
Bristol City (h) 2-0
Barnsley (a) 0-1
Sheffield United (h) 3-0
Reading vs. Derby County, Wednesday 10 March 2010 20:00, The Coca-Cola Football League Championship
Date:Friday March 5 2010
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|6. Sheff Wed||18||8||4||6||0||28|
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|9. Leeds Utd||17||8||2||7||0||26|
|11. Aston Villa||18||5||10||3||3||25|
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