The Big Match Preview: Hull City (A)
The KC Stadium
The Rams face The Tigers at the KC Stadium on the back of two consecutive victories over the Christmas period against promotion chasing opposition and they travel north to take on a side who currently sit sixth in the table. Despite two consecutive single goal defeats on the road Hull are still in the play-off places and are currently five points better off than Derby in the standings.
City beat The Rams 2-0 in mid-November at Pride Park in Nick Barmby`s first game in charge in the midst of a poor run of form for Nigel Clough`s side but they have recently turned things around and have lost only one of their last five matches with three wins on the bounce at Pride Park.
Derby lost 1-0 to Ipswich Town on their last away trip with a controversial Keith Andrews goal giving the hosts the victory. Having started the season with three wins out of four on the road The Rams have not taken maximum points since the famous 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest back in September and with their recent mini-revival this would be an ideal time to get their away form back to it`s early season standards.
Nigel Clough wants to keep The Rams recent upturn in form going for the visit to Hull City and hopes to follow up the two victories on home soil with a result on the road telling dcfc.co.uk
'It would be great to get something at Hull and start the New Year positively. Even a point would be a good result for us on the road."
'We've got six points in the bag, which is lovely from two home games, and we'll do all we can to get something at Hull.'
Hull City Team News:
Liam Rosenoir returns to the squad afer missing the clash with Burnley through suspension, goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi also picked up a knee injury during that match and backup Adrian Basso is on standby for this encounter. Seyi Olofinjana could also return to the squad for the first time this season after playing seventy minutes in a recent reserve team game after a knee injury.
Player to watch: Robert Koren
The former West Bromwich Albion midfielder has been one of The Tigers most consistant performers this season and is their second leading scorer with seven goals so far. Koren is the curent captain of the Slovenian national side and has sixtyone caps to his name. The attacking midfielder made over one hundred appearances for West Brom before he joined The Tigers on a free transfer in the summer of 2010.
Derby County Team News:
Nathan Tyson was replaced at halftime on New Years Eve and may be rested here rather than make a second start in three days after only recenlty returning from long term injury. Theo Robinson, who replaced him against West Ham, would be the obvious choice to come intothe lineup and is The Rams leading scorer so far this season.
Nigel Clough hinted at bringing in some fresh legs to the side after two hard working performances but with his side currently in a good run of form he will look to keep as much continuiuty in the side as possible.
Player to watch: Callum Ball
The young stirker has started three games in a row has shown enough to keep his place in the starting lineup even with a number of more experienced strikers coming back to fitness. Ball has scroed two in his last four appearances, inlcuding one run out from the bench, and his general all round performances have shown why he is so highly rated by the Derby management.
Match Facts & Stats
Derby County last 5:
West Ham United (h) 2-1
Leeds United (h) 1-0
Ipswich Town (a) 0-1
Bristol City (h) 2-1
Crystal Palace (a) 1-1
Hull City last 5:
Burnley (a) 0-1
Middlesbrough (a) 0-1
Millwall (h) 2-0
Coventry City (a) 1-0
Birmingham City (h) 2-1
Derby County vs. Crystal Palace , Sat 7th January, 15:00pm, FA Cup 3rd Round