Derby will travel to the capital for the second time in the space of seven days tomorrow (17/11/12) to take on league leaders Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
The Eagles are on an impressive unbeaten run of 13 games and are yet to lose on home soil since 18 August, certainly a tough match for Nigel Clough’s army.
The Rams have a good record against Palace, in 65 meetings Derby have come out on top 30 times. The London club have won 18 and been involved in 17 draws with DCFC.
Last season the clubs met three times, one a league draw at Selhurst Park and one a league win for Nigel Clough’s side on home turf. The other meeting came in the third round of the FA Cup at Pride Park, Derby came out victorious with a 1-0 win. In meetings at Palace’s home ground the Rams haven’t done so well in recent times, with no win there since 2002.
Their impressive start to the campaign has been aided by striker Glen Murray, who has scored a very respectable 13 league goals. I can’t mention Palace and not say anything about talented 20-year old Wilfried Zaha, who has attracted more than his fair share of headlines recently. The winger/striker has even been linked with a big money move to Spanish giants Real Madrid and this week won his first senior England cap, coming off the bench in a defeat to Sweden. It’s a must that the Rams keep him quiet throughout the 90 minutes. Former-Ram Dean Moxey is in the ranks at Selhurst Park and could potentially face his former club. He made the move out of Pride Park in the January 2011 transfer window after signing for Derby back in the summer of 2009.
Ian Holloway was recently appointed as the new Eagles boss after the departure of Dougie Freedman, who left to join Championship rivals Bolton Wanderers. Holloway made the move from Blackpool and officially joined the London club on the day the Rams faced Blackpool at Pride Park. The 49-year old boss has saw his side win all three of the games (2-0 V Blackburn, 5-0 V Ipswich and 2-1 V Peterborough) since he put pen to paper on a deal with the club.
On the team front, Nigel Clough will again be without Frank Fielding and Jamie Ward. The former-Blackburn goalkeeper made his return from injury in the under-21s earlier this week, despite that this game will come too early for him so Adam Legzdins is expected to continue in goal for the eighth game in a row. Meanwhile striker Jamie Ward will also remain out, however Nigel Clough hopes to have the Northern Ireland international available before the end of the month. The former-Sheffield United man could be available for the fixture V Birmingham City next week.
Elsewhere Ben Davies is a doubt with an ankle knock and Will Hughes could be rested after winning his first England under-21 cap in midweek.
Defender Tom Naylor has joined League Two side Bradford City on a loan deal up to and including 12 January 2012. The former-Mansfield man is yet to appear in a single matchday squad in the league this season and hasn’t featured since his nightmare (the less said the better) against Scunthorpe in the Capital One Cup.
The Eagles have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the match but will remain without skipper Paddy McCarthy, as he recovers from his ankle problem. Midfielder Jonny Williams is still struggling with a hamstring injury.