Preview: Derby County vs. Cardiff City
Pride Park Stadium
Having slipped to a hugely disappointing defeat in the League Cup at Crewe, The Rams are looking to bounce back against last season's Championship Play-Off finalists Cardiff City, with manager Nigel Clough demanding an improvement. Despite to midweek loss, Derby have the chance to record back to back league victories at the start of a season for the first time in 37 years. After ruining Leeds' opening day record, it would be nice to halt another sickening long-standing 'achievement'.
Rams boss Nigel Clough has called for an improved performance in the Cardiff clash and has called for his team to emulate their Leeds performance: 'As much as we were disappointed with Crewe and we will assess what we did wrong there, we have to focus on the positives of Leeds a week ago too.
'We need to do the things we did against Leeds, we are better than what we showed against Crewe.'
Clough also showed his excitement at playing a competitive fixture at Pride Park again, ironically, against the same opposition as the last one, in which The Rams defeated a weakened Bluebirds side 2-0 on the final day of last season.
'It will be great to be back at Pride Park, in front of a very strong crowd,' he said.
The Rams Team News:
Rams defender Russell Anderson will miss out on the game after picking up a groin injury which will rule him out for around three weeks. Jake Buxton is likely to be on the bench despite Anderson's injury, as is Chris Porter, whose hip has been giving him trouble since the Crewe game where he was forced to come off at half time.
Player to watch: Stephen Bywater
Bywater has conceded ten goals the in his last two appearances against The Bluebirds. I think we all hope that he either doesn't play, or simply enjoys better fortunes between the sticks!
The Bluebirds Team News:
Jay Bothroyd is expected to shake off an injury after notching two goals in his last two games. Keeper David Marshall may join him as he looks to get rid of an injury in time. Seyi Olofinjana signed on loan from Hull City for the rest of the season and will be a good addition for Dave Jones' side. He will almost certainly be in the squad. Darcy Blake and full-back Kevin McNaughton are also injury worries and will be assessed ahead of kick-off.
Player to watch: Jay Bothroyd
Although not the most prolific goalscorer at Cardiff, Bothroyd is he focal point of so much of his side's play. He has finally found his feet at a club, and is the main reason that Cardiff carry such a potent attacking threat.
Match Facts & Stats
Leeds United (a) 2-1
Crewe Alexandra (a) 0-1
Sheffield United (h) 1-1
Burton Albion (h) 4-1
Coventry City vs. Derby County, Sat 21st August, 12:15pm, The Championship