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The Big Match Preview: Portsmouth (H)

The Rams
vs.
Pompey

Pride Park Stadium

29/10/2011

15:00

Pompey are the latest visitors to Pride Park to take on The Rams in the first of two home games in four days.

Derby are without a victory in five and whilst they remain in 6th place, they will want to end that winless run sooner rather than later.

Portsmouth have recent lost manager, Steve Cotterill, to The Rams` East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest. The south coast side sit in 16th place on 15 points, six behind Nigel Clough`s side.

Despite the recent lack of points, Derby`s displays have, on the whole, been positive with the side averaging 22 years of age very unfortunate not to take at least a point against Middlesbrough at the weekend after hitting the woodwork four times in the second half.

Vital Quotes:

Former Derby striker Luke Varney believes he would have been top Derby's scoring charts had he remained at the club: 'I think I proved myself to them when I went out on loan to Sheffield Wednesday and Blackpool,' said the Leicester-born striker.

'I scored goals at both clubs and if I had stayed at Derby, I believe I would probably be their leading scorer.

'I would have loved to have stayed at Derby - it's a great club with great fans and, being a Leicester lad, it was close to home.

'But I totally understood the financial reasons behind the decision and I was glad of the chance to go out on loan.

'Thankfully, it worked out well for both parties in the end and there are no hard feelings.

'I wish Derby all the best and I know I could have had a good career there but we all move on.

'I'm glad to see them doing well this season but I hope they don't do so well this weekend, as we need the points more than they do!'

The Rams Team News:

Derby's two injury worries from Middlesbrough are not likely to affect Saturday's line-up.

Jason Shackell and Russell Anderson both limped out of the defeat but are expected to keep their places in the team.

Player to watch: Mason Bennett?

After an assured debut in which he hit the bar against Middlesbrough, 15 year old Bennett could keep his place in Nigel Clough's starting line-up.

I'm sure the rest of the Pride Park faithful will be desperate to see the youngster in action and we all hope he can break the record for the Football League's youngest ever goalscorer.

Pompey Team News:

Zimbabwe international Benjani, faces a late fitness test on a hamstring injury.

The unpredictable forward scored a hat-trick against Derby in a 3-1 away defeat during the disastrous 07/08 season.

Experienced defender Hermann Hreidarsson should make the game.

Player to watch: David Norris

Midfielder Norris has been in great form since signing from Ipswich Town in the summer.

He is a scorer of spectacular goals and is an accomplished and high quality performer at this level.

Fellow midfielder, Jeff Hendrick, will have to be sharp to keep Norris quiet.

Match Facts & Stats

Derby County last 5:

Middlesbrough (a) 0-2

Reading (a) 2-2

Southampton (h) 1-1

Leicester City (a) 0-4

Barnsley (h) 1-1

Portsmouth last 5:

Doncaster Rovers (h) 3-1

Ipswich Town (a) 0-1

Barnsley (h) 2-1

Leeds United (a) 0-1

Peterborough United (h) 2-3

Next Fixtures:

Derby County vs. Portsmouth, Sat 29th October, 15:00pm, The Championship


Writer:RobB
Date:Friday October 28 2011
Time: 4:15PM

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