Predicted Derby County Lineup To Take On Sunderland In Season Opener
Derby County didn’t finish their pre-season schedule in quite the manner they would have wanted to but they remain one of the favourites for promotion and given the state of play on Wearside right now, I cannot believe that they are outsiders to win this game.
Rowett’s appointment has lifted the club and a strong start here on the opening day should set the tone for the long season that lies ahead.
Manager: Gary Rowett
GK – Scott Carson
The ex-England ‘keeper has tons of experience and will enjoy another season as no.1.
RB – Andre Wisdom
Cyrus Christie’s replacement will want to start off with a bang and probably won’t have too much to worry about at the Stadium of Light.
CB – Curtis Davies
One of two recruits from Hull in pre-season, Davies retains top level ability and will prove to be an astute acquisition.
CB – Alex Pearce
Had a better season last year than some have given him credit for and can carry on here from where he left off last term.
LB – Marcus Olsson
Another season as first choice left-back beckons and I think Rowett will want more from him going forward. A few assists from left-back would not go amiss if the club are to take the leap into the top two of this division.
CM – Tom Huddlestone
The former Hull City man has returned and comes back as a more experienced and rounded player. Still capable of playing the Premier League, Huddlestone could make Derby tick and if he stays fit, he could be crucial this season.
CM – Bradley Johnson
The midfielder has plenty of experience now and should quietly go about his job in this division. He remains capable of helping his side gain promotion.
RW – Nick Blackman
A little like Anya on the other side, Blackman probably isn’t thought of by Rowett as the long term answer in this position but is a decent stop gap after the loss of Tom Ince.
CAM – Matej Vydra
He might be given the chance to perform in his preferred position down the middle, supporting the front man.
LW – Ikcehi Anya
The former Watford man may be entrusted to play on the opening day, with Johnny Russell also fighting for this position.
ST – Chris Martin
Back at the club now and ready to show his worth, the striker may not be prolific but is a good no.9 and can bring Derby’s other attackers into play.