Preview and Team News: Northampton (July 31, Pre-Season Friendly)

Tonight Derby play their third pre-season friendly as preparations hot up ahead of the new season, The Rams first competitive game against Scunthorpe in the League Cup is just 16 days away. So far Derby have won one and lost one in pre-season.

Derby County Team News

Left back Gareth Roberts is set to miss tonight’s friendly with a tight hamstring, he missed the Burton game on Saturday with the same injury. He is expected to be ready to return to action for Friday’s game with Colchester. Trialist Michael Hoganson will not feature in the game, he did play at left back in Saturday’s victory over Burton. However Hoganson does remain a player that The Rams are interested in, tonight’s opponents Northampton have offered him a one year deal after he scored two goals and impressed in a recent friendly. Trialist defender Valentin Gjokaj is in the squad and will be looked at again by manager Nigel Clough as the Swiss defender looks to earn a contract. James Caton, who was on trial with The Rams, will not play after Nigel Clough decided not to hand the former Bolton winger a contract. Goalkeeper Adam Legzdins has not played in either of Derby’s friendlies so far due to a dead leg but he is expected to return tonight. Player of the year Craig Bryson is fit again after being substituted on Saturday due to a slight groin strain. Transfer listed striker Steve Davies will not be risked.

Michael Jacobs

The current Derby County winger recently made the move from The Cobblers to The Rams and will face his former club for the first time tonight since leaving them. He is likely to get a good reception from Northampton fans, who he was a favourite with and player of the year in successive seasons.

The 20 year old scored a brilliant goal on Saturday that won The Rams the game at the Pirelli Stadium- “It was nice to get my name on the scoresheet. Even though it’s a pre-season game it’s nice to score for the first time in a Derby shirt. It was a good ball from Nathan Tyson that put me in and I think Wardy (Jamie Ward) was screaming at me to square it but I think he will let me off this time because I put it in the bottom corner! This is a big step up for me but I am getting used to playing with the lads.”

His and The Rams third pre-season friendly tonight is against his former club, where he hopes to get a good reception from fans- “Going back to Northampton will be a surreal moment but it will be great to go back. I really enjoyed my time there and hopefully I will get a nice reception. We were involved in two relegation battles in my two seasons there but hopefully with the manager (Aidy Boothroyd) they have got there they will do well.”

Opponents: Northampton Town

Last season was a tough campaign for The Cobblers, they found themselves in a relegation scrap but ultimately finished 20th. Northampton did only finish with three points above the dreaded League Two relegation zone.

The Boss: Aidy Boothroyd

Boothroyd was the Watford manager when they gained promotion to the Premier League in 2006, he left The Hornets in 2008. Ever since leaving Watford he hasn’t spent a long time at a club: Colchester (2009-2010) and Coventry (2010-2011) . He joined The Cobblers in November 2011 and he’ll certainly be hoping for a much improved season this time around.

Twitter- @NMtherams

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