Nigel Pearson takes his Leicester side on the short trip to Pride Park this afternoon, where East Midlands rivals Derby await.
The Rams have endured a disappointing season in the Championship this year, spending much of their time nervously looking over their shoulders, battling against the drop.
Tuesday evening’s 1-1 draw with QPR put Nigel Clough’s side one step closer to survival, where they now sit a relatively comfortable six points above the relegation zone.
It is at home where Derby have been particularly strong this term, claiming the prize scalps of Newcastle and Nottingham Forest along the way.
For Leicester it is back to the grind of chasing an all-important play-off place. A disappointing last-minute Reading penalty sunk the Foxes midweek to cap off a poor week for Pearson’s men.
City have fallen victim to two late goals in as many matches, and Pearson will be hoping his side can sort out their recent woes to get another three points on the board today.
Last time the two sides met came earlier in the season when Derby frustrated Leicester to a dismal goalless draw at the Walkers Stadium.
Derby ran out victors in the last meeting at Pride Park (06/07), Jon Stead’s second-half strike enough to take home the points for the home side on the day.
Leicester midfielder Richie Wellens: ‘The home game against them was a typical derby. Heavy tackles flying in and a bit stop-start really. What we’re going to try and do if we’re going to play our football is keep the game flowing and keep the tempo high.’
Derby County Team News:
Derby welcome Wigan-loanee Tomasz Cywka into the first team squad after joining in the week.
Centre back Dean Leacock could start his first match in three months after recovering from a knee injury.
Player to watch: Robbie Savage
The former-Leicester midfielder spent five happy years at Filbert Street, winning two league cups and witnessing the Foxes in their prime during that spell.
Now with Derby, Savage has the abilities to frustrate Leicester today even at the tender age of 35.
The Welshman put in a good shift on Tuesday evening, jokingly suggesting through his Twitter page that he would let QPR’s Adel Taraabt out of his pocket soon.
Leicester City Team News:
Manager Nigel Pearson is expected to name an unchanged starting lineup from Tuesday’s defeat at the hands of Reading.
Bruno Berner disappointingly looks set to miss out once again, whilst defender Alex Bruce is definitely out.
Player to watch: Martyn Waghorn
It’s the same old chestnut. Waghorn is City’s main man at the moment, firing in the goals in the absence of Matty Fryatt to help the Foxes in their quest for glory.
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has quashed any possibilities of Waghorn joining on a permanent in the summer, but should he be given enough money, Bruce may just be tempted to allow his starlet to find pastures new with City.
Match Facts & Stats
– Derby are one of only seven Championship sides to have won 10 home matches this season.
– Pride Park boasts the second highest average attendance in the Championship, with just over 29,000 cramming into the ground on a weekly basis.
– Four of the last five matches between these two sides have ended in draws.
– Despite City’s recent unfortunate luck, no team has conceded more goals in the last ten minutes of matches than Derby (15).
– The Rams have won four of their last six home matches.
Yet again it’s another difficult one to call. Derby strong at home, but we have the players to get something positive here today. Derby 1-1 Leicester (come on, I was nearly right Tuesday).
Tuesday 30th March
Leicester: Cardiff (A)
Friday 2nd April:
Leicester: West Brom (A)
Saturday 3rd April:
Derby: Coventry (A)