Derby County trave to Stoke City on Saturday looking for a first Championship win in six attempts as the Rams seek to pull clear of the bottom three.

Wayne Rooney’s side have picked up just two points from their past five games.

While their form has been poor, the second half against Brentford in midweek has lifted spirits as Derby came from two goals down to grab a deserved point.

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

Rooney made three changes at half-time against Brentford, switching to a back three and going more direct in a move Brentford boss Thomas Frank called a masterstroke.

Here is how we believe Derby will line up at the Bet365 Stadium:

Rooney would be wise to stick with a similar back three system which fared so well in the second half against Brentford, with Nathan Byrne and Lee Buchanan as wingbacks.

Max Bird was hooked at half-time in midweek, and he is likely to miss out again with Graeme Shinnie and Jason Knight taking up central midfield roles.

Rooney’s biggest concerns may come in the final third.

 

Lee Gregory, on loan at Derby from Stoke, is ineligible to play while leading scorer Colin Kazim-Richards could miss out after picking up a knock against Brentford at Pride Park.

Louie Sibley demonstrated his natural ability by scoring an excellent equaliser on Tuesday, while showing how big of a threat he can be when playing in a central role.

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

Sibley featuring as a number 10 could allow Rooney to play two centre-forwards, with Martyn Waghorn a natural option while Kamil Jozwiak may have better success up top.

Tom Lawrence and Patrick Roberts will provide options and the opportunity to change system, while academy striker Cam Cresswell may be a surprise choice off the bench.

Also see: £10m speedster Cocu wanted at Derby may line up against Rams this weekend

Also see: Another Derby academy talent in line for senior debut after joining first-team training

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