|Sunderland 1 v 1 Derby County|
Friday, 4th August 2017 Kick-off 19:45
G.M's Match Preview: Rams New Look Attack To Extend Prestons Woes Away
Tuesday, 7th Mar 2017 05:58 by George Martin
Derby welcome Preston for the second home league game in three days after earning a much needed and hard fought 2-1 victory against Barnsley on Saturday.
Barnsley had the better of the opening half hour as Derby lacked balance and cohesion. A new formation and new personnel, saw Nugent play up front, with Ince playing behind him, Vydra on the left and Russell on the right. However, Derby persisted and were better in the second half, although the game could have been a draw.
Fans were bemused why Vydra was not playing in his preferred position behind the main striker and Ince on the wing. It was later revealed that Bent was due to start, but became ill so Russell started.
Bent is now fit and trained Monday so may start instead of Russell. Butterfield came on for the ineffective De Sart so he may get the nod to start this game. Keogh and Blackman are still out injured, as is Shackell with a bad back. Baird will continue to deputise at centre back.
Preston are above Derby in the league but are winless in their last five away games, with their most recent loss away to Fulham. On a small budget, they have done well this season and had it not been for their recent poor away form, they could have had a say in the playoff places.
Preston have problems at right-back with Alex Baptiste, Tyias Browning and Calum Woods all ruled out. Marnick Vermijl continues to recover from hernia surgery, so Greg Cunningham and Tom Barkhuizen may fill in. It was the latter on Saturday and he also scored.
McGeacy will look to make things tick and create going forward. Hugill will hope to be on the end of any chances.
Derby have a good record against Preston having won five and drawn two on their last nine encounters.
Although still looking a little shaky at the back, The Rams got a much needed and confidence boosting victory on Saturday. This will increase the belief in the players. McClaren must decide on whether to bring in Bent for Russell and who will partner Johnson in midfield.
Preston will be organised, compact and try and get the ball down and play. If Derby press high up the pitch and take the game to Preston then the goal threat of Nugent, Bent, Ince, Butterfield and Vydra could make the difference.
Derby to win 2-0 and Nugent to score.
Last Time They Met:
Preston 0 v 1 Derby
Deepdale – 16th August 2016
Derby 0 v 0 Preston
Pride Park - 19th May 2005
Gaffer / Player Pre Match Interview:
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Photo: Action Images
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