Tonight, The Rams face their toughest friendly opponents in Premier League opposition Sunderland managed by Martin O’Neil.
Will Hughes is set to start for The Rams after impressing in recent pre-season games, he’s also pushing strongly for a starting role when the season kicks off next week. “We are very pleased with him. It will be interesting to see him against Sunderland.” Nigel Clough said.
Craig Bryson is unlikely to be risked “His groin has tightened up again in training, which will give Will Hughes a chance.” The Rams boss said. There is doubt over Gareth Roberts (tight hamstring) so James O’Connor may be involved from the start, Clough said “Gareth Roberts felt his hamstring again after training on Monday and he probably will not be risked. We are being careful with Gareth and that is why we are delighted to have got James O’Connor in because he will slot straight in at left-back.” Defenders Jake Buxton and John Brayford picked up knocks on Friday at Colchester, Nigel Clough thinks they will both be OK.
First team players Saul Deeney, Tom Naylor, James Bailey, Ben Davies, Mason Bennett and Conor Doyle was in action for a Derby County XI at Belper last night so are unlikely to play or certainly the full game. New signing Michael Hoganson and Valentin Gjokaj (close to a deal) also played in the 1-0 loss at Christchurch Meadow.
Steve Davies is set to miss the match tonight. He was not risked in last night’s friendly at Belper as his fitness continues to build but is likely he will play at Chesterfield in Saturday’s pre-season friendly at the B2net Stadium. Ipswich boss Jewell is close to conceding defeat in his pursuit of signing Steve Davies, as he looks set switch his attention top other potential transfer targets. Ipswich have been favourites to sign Davies but Derby’s valuation of him has been too high, according to Paul Jewell.
Striker Stephane Sessegnon is a doubt for Sunderland following an ankle injury he picked up in training. “Sessegnon hurt his ankle in training yesterday and I don’t know whether he will make Wednesday’s night’s game, hopefully he will be okay for Saturday’s match. He’s actually going for a scan this afternoon. Elmohamady is back and not doing too badly, so he should be in action. We’ll see. We’ve got a couple of injuries to contend with. Phil Bardsley has had a setback too which is a shame.” Black Cats manager Martin O’Neil said.