Preview: Derby County vs. Middlesbrough
Pride Park Stadium
Boro travel to Pride Park on the back of some terrible away form and hopefully a combination of that and the 5-0 battering of Crystal Palace should mean back to back victories for the first time this season. However, Boro are one of The RamŽs bogey sides, and have won the last four times ths sides have met with Derby not scoring a goal in that time. Hopefully, though, the confidence gained from the win over Palace should help bring that miserable record to an end.
Rams loan striker Luke Moore has praised his competition for a striking role, Shefki Kuqi, after the big forward had an excellent home debut: 'Shefki had a great game,' said the former Aston Villa man. 'He's so important to the team and, as a striker, I can definitely appreciate all of the work he does.
'There's always competition for places wherever you are. That's football and you've just got to get on with it.
'All I can do is get myself in the best shape I can and then it's all down to the manager to pick the team.
'I'll work hard for the team. I'm a team player - that's the bottom line.'
Boro midfielder Gary OŽNeil thinks his side can put things right against the Rams after crashing to a 3-1 defeat at Watford: 'That was an awful performance,' he admitted. 'But luckily Derby gives us a quick chance to put it right.
'This needs to be the wake up call for us. I know we`ve had a few already but hopefully that will be the one that really kick-starts us.
'We know that we need to eradicate all the silly mistakes and get right at it from the very first minute. We can`t afford any more defeats like that.'
The Rams Team News:
Rams defender Dean Leacock looks set for a spell on the sidelines after suffering a hamstring injury against Crystal Palace. He could be replaced by John Brayford, who filled in for him against The Eagles when he came off, or young Mark OŽBrien could come in for only his third ever career appearance. Dean Moxey can function as an emergency centre-back, but with Gareth Roberts struggling to be fit for Tuesday, it is likely that Nigel Clough will stick with him at left back. Centre-backs Russell Anderson, Jake Buxton and Miles Addison are all still out.
Player to watch: Alberto Bueno
Young Spaniard Bueno impressed hugely in the 5-0 demolition of Crystal Palace and notched his first two goals in English football. He has the potential to be devastating this season given the right service.
Boro Team News:
Matthew Bates is likely to continue in place of the injured Justin Hoyte. Gordon Strachan must decide whether to bring back Kris Boyd after leaving him on the bench for the last three games. The Scottish international has been dropped from the international squad after only scoring one Boro goal this season.
Player to watch: Gary O`Neil
OŽNeil is BoroŽs skipper and has been excellent for his side since they got relegated two years ago. He has an eye for goal too, and is a powerful midfielder.
Match Facts & Stats
Queens Park Rangers (h) 2-2
Sheffield United (h) 0-1
Hull City (a)0-2
Barnsley (a) 1-1
Crystal Palace (h) 5-0
Barnsley (a) 0-2
Queens Park Rangers (a) 0-3
Burnley (h) 2-1
Reading (h) 3-1
Watford (a) 1-3
Swansea City vs. Derby County, Sat 2nd October, 15:00pm, The Championship