Preview: Derby County vs. Crystal Palace
Pride Park Stadium
The Rams are back on home soil after two away-days which saw the side lose at Hull and pick up a valuable point at Barnsley. The point gained in Yorkshire will only prove to be a good one if it can be built upon, and with two consecutive home games, there is certainly a chance to do so. Goerge Burley, ex-Rams boss, is looking to endure better fortunes at Pride Park than on his last visit, where he saw his Southampton side eliminated from the play-offs on penalties in 2007.
Derby defender Dean Leacock believed his teammates need to put on a good show at Pride Park after the last game on home soil resulted in a dreadful 0-1 defeat against Sheffield United: 'We owe the fans a massive performance in our next home game against Crystal Palace,' said Leacock.
'We have to apologise to the fans after the last home game against Sheffield United, when our performance was unacceptable.
'We need the fans with us, week in, week out. On the pitch we just keep shooting ourselves in the foot and we have to cut that out. I'm sure we can get stronger and stronger.'
Former Rams boss George Burley says he enjoyed his time at Derby and is looking forward to a return: 'I really enjoyed my time at Derby, the fans were terrific and it was a great club to work for,' he said.
'In football you move on and I've been at a number of good Championship sides over the years where I've been very fortunate to be the manager.
'But they are very loyal fans, great traditions since the Brian Clough era, they really love their football and there's always a good atmosphere at Pride Park.'
The Rams Team News:
Derby have no new injury worries coming into the Palace match, but Gareth Roberts could be on the brink of a retuen to action after missing two matches with a calf injury. Stephen may continue his comeback from injury with another appearance. Rams defenders Jake Buxton and Russell Anderson are still out injured as is Chris Porter.
Player to watch: Kris Commons
Nigel Clough has demanded that Commons shows more of a cutting edge and gets back to the form he showed against Leeds on the opening day. It is clear he is very talented, but he needs to perform agian.
The Eagles Team News:
The Eagesītalisman Darren Ambrose is out with a leg injury and Anthony Gardner, signed from Hull in the close-season, is also missing. Edgar Davids is available again after being granted compassionate leave.
Player to watch: James Vaughan
On-loan Everton striker Vaughan scored a hat trick in his first Palace game in the 4-1 demolition of Portsmouth. After Derby tried desperately to sign him on loan, there is a grim inevitability that he will turn on the style.
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
Hull City (a)0-2
Barnsley (a) 1-1
Portsmouth (a) 1-1 (aet 3-4 on pens)
Scunthorpe United (a) 0-3
Reading (a) 0-3
Portsmouth (h) 4-1
Burnley (h) 0-0
Derby County vs. Crystal Palace, Sat 25th September, 15:00pm, The Championship