Paul Warne’s Derby County face Peterborough away from home on Saturday afternoon, looking to build on their 1-0 victory over Fleetwood Town last weekend.
Martyn Waghorn’s first half opener was enough to secure all three points for the Rams, but the performance itself was lacking in all honesty.
Warne’s men looked out of sorts in attacking areas at times, but were fortunately resolute enough at the back to see out the result.
Here is how we expect to see Derby lineup against Peterborough on Saturday.
Fully expected to remain in net for the Rams is Joe Wildsmith. He has kept two clean sheets from his four appearances so far this season and produced a fine save in the second half against Fleetwood to preserve his side’s lead.
Sticking with the back four which Warne started with last weekend, we expect Craig Forysth, Eiran Cashin, Curtis Nelson and Jake Rooney to keep their spots. It was perhaps a surprise to see Sonny Bradley dropped for the last match, but he will likely remain on the bench for Saturday’s trip with the Derby boss unlikely to change a defence that kept a clean sheet.
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Unchanged again in the middle, we expect Liam Thompson to retain his spot alongside Korey Smith and captain Conor Hourihane. Thompson was handed his first start of the campaign against Fleetwood in the absence of Max Bird and the youngster excelled as he was awarded man of the match. He will be hoping to continue in the same vein of form and stamp his mark on the starting XI.
Smith and Hourihane are almost nailed on starters at this point having played every game together so far this season, slightly aided by Warne’s lack of options in the centre, although the versatile Louie Sibley has now returned from injury so could be in contention.
In the forward department, we expect it to be unchanged again. Is anyone surprised?
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing is likely to start with Martyn Waghorn and Conor Washington joining him in attack.
Waghorn and Washington’s partnership has looked dangerous at times so far this season, with the former scoring two in his last two outings. The pair have both provided assists for each other, and it appears that James Collins’ spot in the squad is now firmly on the bench.
Although the base formation seems to be that of a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3, the system is interchangeable and can easily revert back to Warne’s tried and tested 3-5-2 throughout the encounter.
For this to happen, Rooney slots into the third centre-back slot with Mendez-Laing dropping in to right-wing-back and Forsyth pushing up to left-wing-back whilst Waghorn and Washington remain as a pair up top.
Derby’s predicted XI vs Peterborough: Wildsmith; Rooney, Nelson, Cashin, Forsyth; Smith, Thompson, Hourihane; Mendez-Laing, Washington, Waghorn.