Form (all comps): WLDWW
Midfielder George Thorne is a doubt for Derby after picking up a back injury. Defender Jake Buxton returned from back surgery in the FA Cup win at Hartlepool and may be available. Abdoul Camara and former Royal Nick Blackman could make their home debuts.
After donating their share of the gate receipts from their FA Cup Third Round match to their struggling League Two opponents, Derby County get back to business in The Championship and are unlikely to be so charitable when Reading visit The iPro Stadium on Tuesday evening. The league’s second placed team fielded a strong looking side against Hartlepool but despite going a goal down managed to negotiate their way into the fourth round and bag a home tie against Manchester United.
Despite sitting in second place Derby’s last two league results have yielded just one point from a draw against Leeds before they went down 2-0 to league leaders Middlesbrough. A blip it may be and you would think The Rams will be strengthened by the signing of Reading’s top scorer, Nick Blackman, who joined the Midlands club last week leaving Reading looking for goals from those he has left behind.
Form (all comps): DWLLW
Reading have doubts over Paul McShane (calf) and Michael Hector (knock). Forward Lucas Piazon is hoping for a place in the starting line-up after making an impact as a substitute in the draw with Huddersfield in the FA Cup.
It’s funny how the fixtures often fall in a way that no sooner is your star striker out the door than he is lining up against you in your next league match. That will be exactly the scenario on Tuesday night when Reading visit second placed Derby, the team Nick Blackman left Reading to join less than a week ago.
After playing 76 minutes in Derby’s FA Cup Third Round victory at Hartlepool the former Royal will be pushing to be in the starting line up and make his home debut against his old club. Reading generally travel well against Derby and have won four out of their last five meetings at the iPro so Brian McDermott’s men can go there full of optimism that they can extend that impressive record.
Lineups From Last Game
Derby (v Hartlepool): J. Mitchell, S. Warnock, C. Baird, A. Pearce, R. Shotton, J. Buxton, J. Hanson (J. Russell 46), C. Bryson (J. Butterfield 66), Abdoul Camara, D. Bent, N. Blackman (A. Weimann 76)
Reading (v Huddersfield Town): A. Al Habsi, A. Ferdinand, A. Taylor, C. Gunter, J. Cooper, S. Quinn (Lucas Piazon 68), H. Robson-Kanu, G. McCleary, D. Williams, O. Norwood, M. Vydra
My main fear for this game is complacency - just because Reading are in mid-table, the home fans shouldn't expect a walkover. The previous home performance against Fulham was unspectacular and we need to see an improvement on that to make sure we win this match.
Last Five Meetings
15 Sep 2015: Reading 0-1 Derby County (Championship)
02 May 2015: Derby County 0-3 Reading (Championship)
14 Feb 2015: Derby County 1-2 Reading (FA Cup)
18 Oct 2014: Reading 0-3 Derby County (Championship)
23 Sep 2014: Derby County 2-0 Reading (League Cup)
Head To Head
Reading v Derby: W:22 D:6 L:11
Derby 2-0 Reading