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Derby are looking good under Gary Rowett and the ex-Birmingham manager has a chance to take real revenge against his former club for what looked like a harsh sacking back in December.
Birmingham fans were largely unhappy at that decision and are even less pleased at results since. Without Rowett, Birmingham have struggled badly so with Derby flying following their 4-2 midweek victory over Fulham, an away win may well be achieved with the following team (4-4-1-1):
A 41st league appearance of the season is on the cards for the consistent former Liverpool ‘keeper.
Chris Baird has done an admirable job in recent games, but the return of Christie who was on the bench in midweek may give added attacking impetus from right-back. He can use overlapping runs to good effect with Ince cutting inside.
The skipper should continue at the back alongside Pearce.
The former Reading centre-back should keep his place in a solid-looking back line.
The Swede was not at his best the other night, but he did supply an assist for hat-trick hero David Nugent and should once again line-up at left-back. Another attacking display from him may just help kill Birmingham off.
Once again lining up on the right of midfield and looking to cut in on his left foot, Ince will be looking for his 14th goal of the season when he plays.
A lively enough display the other night should be enough for Johnson to keep his place in the engine room. The 29-year-old former Norwich man is in decent form and should help win a crucial midfield battle on the day.
Strong and consistent, Bryson teams up with Johnson again and will look to win his personal battles. Should he achieve this, it will go a long way to securing victory.
Another example of Derby’s Scottish connection; Russell managed a goal in midweek and having got the taste for it will want more. A left-midfield role is on the cards once again with Vydra playing behind Nugent.
Having publicly complained about being played away from the central areas, Vydra may get one more chance to do the business here. The pressure is on him to come up with the goods now though and so a goal or two from him would be a huge relief.
Having scored a hat-trick and missed a penalty already, Nugent was afforded the luxury of a substitution with 20 minutes still to play in midweek. He should arrive fresh here and hungry for more goals.