Derby County face Huddersfield Town in their opening Championship fixture next Monday evening.

The Rams head into the encounter against the former Premier League side full of change. New manager Phillip Cocu has taken over from Frank Lampard, while new faces will be in the starting XI.

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Derby relied heavily on loan deals last season as they reached the playoff final. Mason Mount, Harry Wilson and Fikayo Tomori were influential as the Rams were within one victory of promotion.

Those players have now gone, but Derby’s expected starting first team line-up remains strong. Cocu is likely to utilise his favoured 4-3-3 formation, and here is how we feel his debut eleven will look.

 

Goalkeeper Kelle Roos has question marks over him following his Wembley performance. But the Dutchman is still viewed as the club’s number one while Scott Carson is out injured.

New loan signing Matt Clarke replaces Tomori. Clarke arrived from Brighton on a season-long loan deal, and the left-footed centre-back should complement Richard Keogh well. He looked a standout for Portsmouth last season in League One – showcasing strength and an ability in possession.

It’s all change in midfield:

New signing Krystian Bielik from Arsenal should come in and make the holding role his own. Graeme Shinnie, an arrival from Aberdeen, and Everton loanee Kieran Dowell should make up the three.

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

The midfield three has a great blend to it. Bielik will offer physicality and an outlet in possession. Shinnie is a box-to-box player, while Dowell will be tasked with creativity and a threat in the final third.

Jack Marriott’s injury means Martyn Waghorn is set to lead Derby’s front-line on Monday. Out wide, the Rams still look a little short on quality, with Florian Jozefzoon and Tom Lawrence likely to start at Huddersfield.

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