Derby County return from the international break with a tasty encounter against Cardiff City on Friday night – a game which both teams will be desperate to win.

The Rams haven’t started the season particularly well. Phillip Cocu’s side have picked up just six points from their opening six games and are winless in five.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images).

Cardiff, one of the promotion favourites, are just two points better off. The Bluebirds have lost two of their three away games so far, giving Derby hope of picking up a first home win.

With players coming back into fitness, some argue the season starts now for Derby. And here is how we believe the Rams will line up against Neil Warnock’s side.

Cocu told the club’s official website how Jayden Bogle is still short of match fitness following his ankle injury. Max Lowe has filled in at right-back, but Duane Holmes is arguably a better fit there.

Holmes starting at right-back would give Lowe the chance to play in his natural left-back position. The Derby academy graduate has the tools to make that spot his own.

Krystian Bielik could come into midfield after playing there for the Poland national side this week. The Rams have certainly missed a physical presence in the middle of the park.

Kieran Dowell and Jason Knight offer plenty of youth. Tom Huddlestone, meanwhile, could drop to the bench after a somewhat disappointing start to the campaign.

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/WBA FC via Getty Images).

A front three of Tom Lawrence, Jack Marriott and Martyn Waghorn has plenty of goals in it. Derby have been shy in-front of goal, scoring just three times in open play in six games.

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