Preview: Barnsley vs. Derby County
Pride Park Stadium
The Rams travel to Yorkshire in real need of points having slipped into the bottom three following a sequence of poor results which has seen only three points added to the tally in the five games following the opening day success over Leeds United.
The opponents, Barnsley, have enjoyed a good start to the season under the stewardship of ex-Manchester United man Mark Robins, with ten points from six Championship games. They sit one place outside the play-off places at this early stage of the season and crushed neighbours Leeds United 5-2 in their last game at Oakwell.
Rams centre-back Shaun Barker has come out and stated that the team´s confidence is high, despite the recent poor string of results: 'If we were not performing, we would be getting nervous now,' said Barker.
'We had played well in all of the League games before we lost to Sheffield United and responded at Hull on Tuesday when we were pretty dominant for most of the game but lost,' he added.
'We are in the bottom three, which is disappointing, but it is still early days.
'You just have to believe that a win is going to come again soon and the sooner it comes, the more confident the lads will be going into the game after that.'
Barnsley boss Mark Robins has ordered his side not to take The Rams lightly, despite their poor recent results: 'Derby are a big club and one who have had plenty of changes over the last 18 months. They'll be a handful,' said Robins.
'They play a 4-3-2-1 formation and they're a threat. We've got to guard against complacency.
'We did well the other night against Leeds, but it's a different game and there's different threats and equally opportunities.'
The Tykes Team News:
Barnsley midfielder Hugo Colace may have to settle for a place amongst the substitutes as he continues his recovery from a calf injury. He is a dangerous player and would be a loss for his side. Garry O´Connor, an on-loan Scottish striker from Birmingham City, is likely to carry on upfront after a debut goal in the 5-2 demolition of Leeds.
Player to watch: Garry O´Connor
Striker O´Connor is a threatening opponent and against Championship sides will score goals. Derby´s defence will have to be stronger than in recent weeks to stop him.
The Rams Team News:
It is not known whether left-back Gareth Roberts will have recovered from his severe cramp in time for the match in Yorkshire. Should he fail to prove his fitness, Dean Moxey will continue in defence.
Shefki Kuqi is likely to continue as the lone striker but Kris Commons may come back into the starting line up after looking decent when he came on agaionst Hull.
Player to watch: Shaun Barker
Defender Barker has struggled for form so far this season, not reaching the heights he attained last campaign. He will be instrumental in attempting to keep Barnsley out. His return to form will be very important in the coming weeks.
Match Facts & Stats
Crewe Alexandra (a) 0-1
Cardiff City (h) 1-2
Coventry City (a) 1-2
Queens Park Rangers (h) 2-2
Sheffield United (h) 0-1
Crystal Palace (h) 1-0
Bristol City (a) 0-0
Norwich City (a) 1-2
Leeds United (h) 5-2
Derby County vs. Crystal Palace, Sat 25th September, 15:00pm, The Championship