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Derby can no longer reach the Championship play-offs. However, they can play with freedom and will look to go to Hillsborough and put a huge dent in Sheffield Wednesday’s own promotion hopes.
Things are very much on the up at Pride Park since Gary Rowett took control of the team, the 4-0 loss at Brentford being the only reverse he has suffered so far. With no pressure on him at all, Rowett can begin to plan for next season and so the three remaining games will serve as a stage for the players to impress their manager.
At this point, players without pressure who are looking to stay at the club or even move up to the Premier League can be incredibly dangerous, the Derby example possibly being the following 4-4-1-1:
The former England ‘keeper has 17 clean sheets to his name this season and without a doubt, he will play once more.
Now back in the side in the place of Chris Baird, Christie can provide a good attacking outlet down Derby’s right as well as remaining defensively sound.
The skipper can make his 40th appearance of the season in this one and has been vital this season.
The former Reading man may have a tough time looking after Forestieri, and his experience could come in handy.
Although he is never a prolific goal scorer, Olsson does get forward well and can add more impetus to Derby’s attacks.
One of the better players in the line-up, Ince is looking for his 14th league goal of what has been a very successful campaign for him personally.
In and out of the side recently, the 26-year-old is fully capable and may get another chance here at the expense of Will Hughes who hasn’t quite kicked on as expected.
Although he was substituted last time, Johnson has played 30 times in the league this season and is important to the side.
The Glaswegian has just one goal to his name this season but may be given another go on the left wing.
Another one who came off the bench last time, he may replace Vydra who must be wearing down the patience of Rowett, after having been asked to play centrally and producing very little.
The veteran former England striker is not the player what he once was. Nonetheless, he has managed 9 goals this season and is fully capable of taking any chances which may come his way.