Derby County travel to Wales on Tuesday evening as the Rams prepare to face an in-form Cardiff City outfit.

Wayne Rooney hasn’t been afraid to swap and change his starting line up during his first stint as a manager, often switching up his formation and personnel to keep opposition bosses on their toes.

After an underwhelming performance against Nottingham Forest, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Rooney alter his side once more, perhaps having Lee Gregory in from the start.

Derby County v Nottingham Forest - Sky Bet Championship
DERBY, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 26: Lee Gregory of Derby County controls the ball from Yuri Ribeiro of Nottingham Forest during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Nottingham Forest at Pride Park Stadium on February 26, 2021 in Derby, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

The striker, on loan from Stoke City, has featured six times for Derby since signing on transfer deadline day. The 32-year-old has recorded a solitary goal and assist, both coming in a 2-1 triumph over Middlesbrough in his second appearance.

Speaking to RamsTV after the Forest fixture, Rooney praised Gregory and the impact he had once subbed on.

“I thought Lee Gregory was great for us when he came on,” said the Derby manager.

 

“He showed great energy and enthusiasm, he was a handful and I think he really lifted the rest of the team with his energy. I was delighted with him.”

Having started in just three of his six appearances to date, the former Millwall man will be chomping at the bit for more minutes at his new club, however, competition is tough with Colin Kazim-Richards in fantastic form for the Rams.

Derby County v Huddersfield Town - Sky Bet Championship
DERBY, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 23: Huddersfield Town’s Richard Keogh in action with Derby County’s Lee Gregory during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Huddersfield Town at Pride Park Stadium on February 23, 2021 in Derby, England. (Photo by Mick Walker – CameraSport via Getty Images)

We have seen Gregory partner Kazim-Richards on a few occasions now, whenever Rooney opts to play a 4-4-2, but whether or not we’ll see that formation rolled out against Mick McCarthy’s Bluebirds is yet to be seen.

Gregory’s last start was against Huddersfield Town, but he was subbed off at half-time due to the gaffer wanting a change of shape.

It will be interesting to see if the forward is in from the start at the Cardiff City Stadium.

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