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The Big Match Preview: Crystal Palace (H)

The Rams
vs.
The Eagles

Pride Park Stadium

24/03/2012

15:00

The Rams are back on home soil following the midweek defeat against Brighton.

Crystal Palace provide the weekend opposition and will be a difficult opponent for Nigel Clough's Rams as they possess one of the Championship's meanest defences.

Derby are still in good form with the defeat down south coming on the back of two consecutive victories, and on their own patch they have proven themselves to be up there with the best - only four sides have secured maximum points at home more than The Rams.

Palace sit in 11th place, seven points off the play-off places and with an outside chance of making them come the end of the season.

Vital Quotes:

Manager Nigel Clough is delighted with how Tom Naylor has acquitted himself in the last two matches, his first starts since a January move from Mansfield Town: 'Tom made a very good debut at Doncaster and it was different for him at Brighton up against LuaLua, who is one of the trickiest players in the League,' added Clough.

'But it was good for him, a good learning curve.

'In an ideal world we would probably have loaned him out for a month or two at League One or League Two level just as a stepping stone but we have not been able to do that so he is in at the deep end and doing well.'

The Rams Team News:

Craig Bryson could return to the side after suffering a hamstring injury in the week. James Bailey could replace him if the game comes to soon.

Jamie Ward remains sidelined but is edging closer to a return to action.

Player to watch: Jeff Hendrick

Irishman Hendrick had a couple of decent chances against Brighton and was unlucky not to get his name on the scoresheet.

Should he continue to get into the same positions, he is sure to add to his two goals this season before the final game.

The Eagles Team News:

Wilfried Zaha, the devilishly tricky wide-man who has attracted interest from Manchester United, is serving a suspension and will not face The Rams.

Player to watch: Glenn Murray

Big-man Murray was a summer target for Derby but he chose to join Palace from Brighton.

Although he only has five league goals this season, he is a presence up-front and wins plenty of headers, making goals for his teammates.

Match Facts & Stats

Derby County last 5:

Brighton & Hove Albion (a) 0-2

Doncaster Rovers (a) 2-1

Nottingham Forest (h) 1-0

Watford (h) 1-2

Blackpool (h) 2-1


Crystal Palace last 5:

Barnsley (h) 1-0

Hull City (h) 0-0

Burnley (a) 1-1

Coventry City (a) 1-1

Peterborough United (h) 1-0

Next Fixtures:

Bristol City vs. Derby County, Sat 31st March, 15:00pm, The Championship


Writer:RobB
Date:Friday March 23 2012
Time: 3:04PM

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