Derby County host Stoke City at Pride Park on Saturday and the Rams will be looking to record their first home victory of the season after their good run of form.

Wayne Rooney will be taking charge of his fifth game as sole interim manager.

Derby are unbeaten since Rooney took sole charge, recording draws against Wycombe Wanderers, Coventry City and Brentford while beating Millwall 1-0 last weekend.

Derby County v Wycombe Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images).

Stoke are much improved from last season and will pose a danger.

Here is how we believe the Rams will line-up for the visit of Michael O’Neill’s side.

Nathan Byrne is back from suspension so he will slot in again at right-back.

Experienced defender Curtis Davies left the field on a stretcher in the 0-0 midweek draw at Brentford. It looked innocuous, which doesn’t bode well for the Rams.

Davies has been superb at the back for Derby this season. In his 11 Championship starts, the Rams have only conceded nine goals which illustrates his importance.

 

Andre Wisdom will likely move into the middle alongside Matt Clarke. Craig Forsyth may keep his spot at left-back ahead of Lee Buchanan after another solid showing.

Graeme Shinnie is suspended after picking up five yellow cards in the Championship. Max Bird is the obvious replacement to come in and partner Krystian Bielik.

In the final third, Rooney may make changes to really go for it. Duane Holmes has started the past two games, with Tom Lawrence dropping to the bench.

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images).

But Lawrence is undoubtedly a greater threat in the final third. Derby still lack goals, and their current tally of eight in 17 games is the lowest in the Championship.

Lawrence, who cost Derby some £5 million from Leicester City in 2017, is a confidence player and just one goal could be enough to see him rediscover his top form.

Also see: DCN view: Fresh injury woe could give Cocu signing chance to revive Derby career

Also see: 6ft 2inch ace who reportedly rejected Derby move absent for Stoke in upcoming Rams clash

Have something to tell us about this article?