Wednesday will be looking to build on their 1-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers last weekend and return from Pride Park with some points to show from their efforts.
But Paul Jewell’s Rams have found a new confidence following their poor start to the season and will be looking to win their home matches to end up around the top two, or even play-off places in the Championship this term.
The match will have extra special meaning for a trio of Owls’ players, with Lee Grant, Marcus Tudgay and Deon Burton all former Derby players, and they’ll be looking to get one over on their former employers.
Brian Laws told the official SWFC site:
‘I’ve seen Derby twice now in a short space of time. I watched them against Nottingham Forest and I thought it was a tense game, a great local derby and a great occasion. It had everything, as did our game with Sheffield United.
He continued: ‘I watched them against Leeds, who I thought were exceptionally good. Possession-wise, Leeds tore them apart but having said that Derby won the game and it’s about putting the ball in the back of the net and they have players who can do that – there’s no doubt about it.’
He added: ‘I think there’s more to come from us, we’re not quite there yet but that’s because of the number of players we have coming back. Once I get them up to tempo with the game I think we’ll be a better team for it.’
Derby County Team News:
Rams’ boss Paul Jewell has tried to bring in new players this week on loan but has been unsuccessful in his attempt to bolster ahead of the visit of Wednesday.
Dean Leacock and Martin Albrechtsen are both still missing through injury and won’t feature on Saturday, and so Lewin Nyatanga and former Blade Claude Davis will keep their places.
Jewell will have a selection headache in attack though, with former Blade Rob Hulse pushing for a re-call to the starting eleven after being dropped to the bench for the midweek Carling Cup win over Leeds United.
But Nathan Ellington and Emanuel Villa will be looking to keep their place after the duo both netted on Tuesday night.
Player to watch: Kris Commons
Laws will be all-too aware of what the former Nottingham Forest man is capable of and will have his midfield keep a watchful eye on the midfielder. Commons is yet to prove his worth with Rams fans but is gradually coming to terms with the way Derby play and will be a big threat on Saturday.
Wednesday Team News:
Brian Laws will also be given food for thought in attack with Akpo Sodje and Francis Jeffers both giving him extra options in attack after completing 75 minutes in the reserve clash with Middesbrough in midweek.
But Leon Clarke is likely to keep his place up front having impressed recently, while Marcus Tudgay and Deon Burton will both be keen to feature against the former clubs, although Tudgay is likely to start just behind the frontmen.
Frank Simek also featured in midweek but Pride Park could come just too early for the American international to make his full return, with loan signing Tony McMahon likely to be moved into defence.
Midfielder Jimmy Smith will sit out the final game of his four-match ban.
Player to watch: Leon Clarke
The former Wolves man has been in the form of his career while with Wednesday, netting three goals in the last five games, and he’ll be looking to continue that at Pride Park.
Match Facts & Stats
Derby wins: 41
Wednesday wins: 41
Last Time Out:
Wednesday 1-1 Derby (aet, Derby win on penalties)
Hillsborough, FA Cup 3rd Round replay, 22/01/08
Wednesday more than matched their struggling Premier League opponents but crashed out with penalty shoot-out failure. Steve Watson had given Wednesday an early lead before Kenny Miller levelled minutes after the restart.
Derby: Carroll, Connolly, Davis, Nyatanga, Stewart, Teale (Zadkovich 46), Green, Kazmierczak, Commons, Ellington (Sterjovski 81), Villa (Hulse 70). Subs Not Used: Bywater, McEveley, Hanson, Pereplotkins.
Wednesday: Grant, Buxton (McMahon 46), Wood, Beevers, Spurr, McAllister, Watson, O’Connor, Esajas (Johnson 66), Tudgay, Clarke (Sodje 76). Subs Not Used: Burton, Small.
v Coventry City (H) – 22/11/08
v Blackpool (A) – 25/11/08