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The Big Match Preview: Birmingham City (A)

Blues
vs.
The Rams

St. Andrews' Stadium

03/03/2012

15:00

The Rams travel to the West Midlands in desperate need of a result to halt an alarming slide which has seen them take only two points from the last six games.

Derby's problems lie in attack, and without a goal in four games a spark is desperately needed to reignite their season and give the supporters some joy in stead of allowing the now-annual pathetic end to the season take place once again.

Following their relegation from the Premier League and the appointment of former Newcastle boss Chris Hughton as manager, Blues have performed well and look like a safe bet for a play-off spot at the end of the season.

The home defeat to Nottingham Forest at the weekend was the first loss in 12 for Blues and Nigel Clough and his side will be desperate to capitalise on that slip-up to complete the double over the Birmingham outfit.

Vital Quotes:

Rams manager Nigel Clough has indicated he will start with 5-goal striker Steve Davies as he looks to end Derby's lean spell in front of goal: 'Steven Davies can get a goal out of nothing and that is maybe what we need right now,' said Clough.

'He is, I think, the most natural goalscorer we have got out of the five strikers. He proved that in the games earlier this season.

'We have given him half a game against Reading and 20 minutes or so here and there in other games but we need him to show more, or Theo Robinson to show more, when he comes on.

'We still want Steven to work harder and to marry the two together - his work-rate and his finishing.

'But we need him out there to get us a goal.'

Blues Team News:

Midfielder Keith Fahey may miss out with an injury he picked up on international duty.

New signings Peter Ramage and Caleb Folan may feature but immensely experienced captain Stephen Carr is certainly out.

Player to watch: Marlon King

Controversial ex-Forest forward King has been a stand-out performer for Blues this season after switching Coventry for Birmingham in the summer.

The Rams Team News:

Livewire Jamie Ward is out after picking up an injury in training for Northern Ireland. As one of the few players in the Derby side capable of creating something from nothing he will be sorely missed.

Craig Bryson is doubtful and full-back John Brayford is out for a while.

Player to watch: Steven Davies

Derby desperately need a goal and he could be the man to do it after returning from a four-month absence.

Match Facts & Stats

Derby County last 5:

Leicester City (h) 0-1

Southampton (a) 0-4

Reading (h) 0-1

Millwall (a) 0-0

Barnsley (a) 2-3



Birmingham City last 5:

Nottingham Forest (h) 1-2

Barnsley (a) 3-1

Chelsea (a) 1-1

Hull City (h) 0-0

Portsmouth (h) 1-0

Next Fixtures:

Derby County vs. Blackpool, Tue 6th March, 19:45pm, The Championship


Writer:RobB
Date:Friday March 2 2012
Time: 6:43PM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
P Brighton 44 28 8 8 92 35
P Newcastle 44 27 7 10 88 40
3 Huddersfield 44 25 6 13 81 3
4 Reading 44 24 7 13 79 1
5 Sheff Wed 44 23 9 12 78 15
6 Fulham 44 21 13 10 76 27
7 Leeds Utd 44 22 7 15 73 14
8 Norwich 44 19 9 16 66 12
9 Brentford 44 18 9 17 63 12
10 Derby County 44 17 12 15 63 2
11 Preston 44 16 13 15 61 2
12 Aston Villa 44 16 13 15 61 0
13 Cardiff 44 16 11 17 59 -2
14 Barnsley 44 15 12 17 57 0
15 Wolves 44 15 10 19 55 -3
16 Ipswich 44 13 16 15 55 -6
17 Bristol City 44 14 9 21 51 -6
18 Burton 44 13 12 19 51 -12
19 Q.P.R. 44 14 8 22 50 -12
20 Forest 44 13 9 22 48 -11
21 Birmingham 44 11 14 19 47 -22
22 Blackburn 44 10 15 19 45 -15
23 Wigan 44 10 11 23 41 -16
R Rotherham 44 5 6 33 21 -58
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