Derby County host Middlesbrough on Saturday in a game in which five January transfer window deadline day signings will be looking at a possible first start in Rams colours.

The Rams were busy on deadline day as Teden Mengi, George Edmundson, Beni Baningime, Patrick Roberts and Lee Gregory all arrived on loan to bolster the squad.

The latter three made their debuts off the bench at Rotherham United.

Brentford v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images).

But Derby’s postponed encounter against Barnsley last weekend meant any potential first starts have been delayed until Saturday’s home encounter with Middlesbrough.

Here is how we believe Derby will line up:

The back five of David Marshall, Lee Buchanan, Matt Clarke, Andre Wisdom and Nathan Byrne are unlikely to change despite the 3-0 defeat at Rotherham United last time out.

Both Mengi and Edmundson may be a few weeks away from match fitness.

Baningime could help fill the huge void left by Krystian Bielik’s unfortunate injury, though manager Wayne Rooney may ease him in with Max Bird expected to start.

 

Graeme Shinnie and Jason Knight will surely retain their places.

In the final third, Colin Kazim-Richards will lead the line while Rooney may look at getting Roberts and Gregory involved quickly to help Derby improve their goal record.

The Rams are the lowest scorers in the Championship with 17 goals in 27 games. Kamil Jozwiak, Martyn Waghorn and Tom Lawrence have just three goals between them.

Derby County v Blackburn Rovers - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images).

Jozwiak still offers promise with his excellent dribbling ability, while having Roberts on the other side may take the pressure off the Poland international to be the main creative outlet.

Waghorn may drop to the bench to accommodate the Manchester City loanee who ironically spend the first half of the campaign on loan at opponents Boro.

Also see: Rowett suggests Millwall ace who joined from Derby is among league’s best signings this season

Also see: 15-goal Derby and Blues target reportedly set for free transfer after league rivals failed in January bid

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