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Derby prediction

Although we were dumped out of the FA Cup at the weekend, we have every right to be bullish about this game as we make the relatively short trip to Pride Park given that Derby are in the midst of a horrible run which saw them also knocked out by Championship opponents, but more importantly are almost certainly heading for the relegation trapdoor and could indeed threaten an all-time low points record.

I doubt goals will be aplenty during this game, but our defence should be able to marshall an attack even less threatening than our own, but we could do with an early goal under our belts to settle any nerves and to inject a little confidence into our game.

Team wise, given that we don't have too many options available, there will not be too many changes (if any), although Sturridge may push for a start and Johnson must be getting closer to a return to action.

Given how he was drawn into a clash with Gary Speed at Bramhall Lane, it is highly likely that Robbie Savage will pay some attention to Elano during the game and hopefully Sven will have had a quiet word, and Hamman and co. will be on hand to provide some support.

A win from this game is an absolute necessity given our forthcoming difficult fixtures, and whilst it would not be beyond us to be part of kick-starting Derby's relegation survival campaign, a 2-0 scoreline in our favour is what I fancy - but not without one or two tricky moments.