Derby County host Barnsley in what has become a must-win encounter for Phillip Cocu’s side following their dreadful start to the Championship campaign.
The midweek defeat at home to Queens Park Rangers was Derby’s sixth in ten games, leaving them second bottom with just six points on the board.
Many feel time is running out for luckless Cocu, and the Dutchman will miss the game against Barnsley after CEO Stephen Pearce tested positive in the latest round of testing.
Cocu, however, will no doubt still pick the team and here is how we see Derby lining up:
The Rams changed back to a 4-2-3-1 system at home to QPR but it just didn’t work out, leaving many supporters questioning the decision to move away from 3-4-3.
While with a back five there is one less attacking player on the field, Derby looked solid and wielded some positive results against Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth.
Cocu would be wise to go back to that system, and George Evans who arrived at Pride Park under Frank Lampard may get a recall in defence.
Evans was part of the Derby XI which beat Norwich City 1-0 at Carrow Road. His ability on the ball could be key to Derby playing out from the back against the Tykes.
The midfield two of Graeme Shinnie and Jason Knight have arguably been Derby’s biggest positive this season, while the forward three in contrast leaves plenty of questions.
Wayne Rooney, when fit, is seemingly a guaranteed starter regardless of form. Then, for balance, it’s two from Martyn Waghorn, Tom Lawrence and Kamil Jozwiak.
Jozwiak has been a bright spark since his £3.5 milion move to Pride Park.
The Poland international, however, looked frustrated against QPR and perhaps this weekend using him as an impact sub against Barnsley will prompt a greater result.
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