The Big Match Preview: Crystal Palce (H)
The Rams face The Eagles at the Pride Park on a three game winning streak and will hope to advance to the fourth round of the FA Cup despite their opponents only sitting one point behind them in the league table. Palace lost 2-1 at home to Leicester City last time out but have won two of their last three games on the road with the only defeat coming to Championship leaders Southampton on Boxing Day.
The teams drew 1-1 at Selhurst Park in a televised game at the start of December with a Paddy McCarthy own goal fifteen minutes from the end of the math sealing a point for Derby. Nigel Clough`s side have turned their fortunes around having won four and lost of their matches since that Friday night encounter and currently sit two points outside the playoff places.
The Rams lost 2-1 away at then non-league Crawley Town at this stage of the competition last season and will be looking for a better result this time around. Theo Robinson`s goal gave them a first victory on the road since September against Hull City on Monday and they will hope to carry this run of form forward into the FA Cup against opposition they have not lost to in their last four encounters.
Nigel Clough has challenged his side to keep their recent run of form going and was delighted with their results over the Christmas period telling dcfc.co.uk:
It has been a brilliant few weeks for us. I think we've played better in games this season than we did against Leeds, West Ham and Hull but in terms of resilience, will to win and hard work - it has been an incredible effort by the players.
We just want to keep it going now. We've built up some momentum and regardless of what competition we're in, we want to keep winning football matches."
The Rams Team News:
Nigel Clough is waiting on the fitness of Nathan Tyson who missed the trip to Hull City with a slight recurrence of the groin injury that kept him out of a large part of the season until the Christmas period. Other than that there are no new injury worries for the The Rams and it is likely that the same players who have been the backbone of the recent run of results will complete the matchday squad.
Player to watch: Theo Robinson
The former Millwall striker has only recently returned from injury but scored his seventh goal of the season at the KC Stadium on Monday. He has responded well to the competition for places up front with Nathan Tyson`s return to fitness and aims to keep his place in the side having started last time out.
The Eagles Team News:
Ex-Derby fullback Dean Moxey is a doubt for the match with a knee injury but John Egan and Mustapha Dumbuya may go straight into the squad after joining The Eagles during the week. Striker Chris Martin has extended his loan spell from Norwich City and looks set to be joined in the team by Darren Ambrose and Jermaine Easter who were both on the bench on Monday.
Player to watch: Chris Martin
The on loan Norwich City striker has only scored one goal in eight matches during his spell at Selhurst Park but this came in the 1-1 draw early last month so The Rams backline will be aware of what he is capable of. The striker has scored 25 goals in 101apperances for his parent club but has found his chances limited in their Premiership campaign so far this season.
Match Facts & Stats
Derby County last 5:
Hull City (a) 1-0
West Ham United (h) 2-1
Leeds United (h) 1-0
Ipswich Town (a) 0-1
Bristol City (h) 2-1
Crystal Palace last 5:
Leicester City (h) 1-2
Millwall (a) 1-0
Southampton (a) 0-2
Birmingham City (h) 1-0
Nottingham Forest (a) 1-0
Derby County vs. Coventry City, Sat 14th January, 15:00, Npower Championship