Derby County host last season’s League One playoff winners Wycombe Wanderers at Pride Park on Saturday in what has become a must-win encounter for the Rams.

Derby currently sit bottom of the Championship table with one win from 13 games.

Former manager Phillip Cocu left by mutual consent last week, and the Rams have since presided over back-to-back defeats at Bristol City and Middlesbrough.

(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images).

The four-strong group including Wayne Rooney and Liam Rosenior in interim charge have agreed that only one voice is needed, with Rooney now taking the lead.

The former Manchester United man as a result has dropped out of the squad.

With Rooney absent, it’s a chance for others to step up. Here is our predicted XI:

One change at the back could see Curtis Davies return to the fold.

The experienced central defender has arguably been Derby’s best player since his return to the side. But Phillip Cocu’s exit saw him miss out at Bristol and Middlesbrough.

Matt Clarke struggled at Boro, and Rooney would be wise to bring some experience and physicality back to the defence for the visit of Wycombe’s Adebayo Akinfenwa.

 

Derby need energy in midfield. The Rams were far too laboured at the Riverside Stadium in midweek, while going forward they lacked a spark and creativity.

Max Bird, Jason Knight and Graeme Shinnie would give runners in midfield.

In the final third, Derby need something extra. Tom Lawrence has gone off the boil, while Martyn Waghorn appears to be starved of any kind of service.

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images).

Lawrence, who cost Derby £5 million in 2017, could do with a rest.

Kamil Jozwiak should start, but then it’s a toss up for the next two positions. Lawrence dropping out would see a space open up with Louie Sibley starting wide right.

Also see: 2019 Derby target dubbed world’s fifth strongest player may face Rams on Saturday

Also see: £2.3m ace chased by Derby and Swansea yet to feature this term after failed October move

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