Derby County host Birmingham City at Pride Park in a crucial game on Saturday.

The Rams head into the encounter having won just one of their past 12 games and coming off the back of a 3-0 defeat at Preston North End in midweek.

The Blues, meanwhile, are undefeated in five and Lee Bowyer’s arrival as manager has seen the west Midlands club climb away from the danger of Championship relegation.

Brentford v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images).

Derby must improve from their Preston debacle and get back to winning ways.

Here is how we believe Wayne Rooney’s side will line up:

David Marshall returned in goal following the international break, but a disappointing performance against Preston may see Kelle Roos come back in.

Andre Wisdom picked up a groin injury at Deepdale and has been ruled out. George Edmundson, despite lacking match fitness, is expected to start alongside Matt Clarke at centre-back.

Derby performed well against Blackburn in a 4-4-2 system. However, Kamil Jozwiak’s absence with injury last time out prompted Rooney into a midfield three which didn’t work out.

 

Jozwiak is unlikely to make it back in time to start against Birmingham, but Martyn Waghorn’s return from a hamstring injury will allow the Rams to play two upfront again.

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(Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images).

Tom Lawrence and Patrick Roberts can feature out wide, while Jason Knight drops out to allow Max Bird and Graeme Shinnie to take up central roles in a four-man midfield.

Derby’s last victory came against Luton Town with Rooney opting for two strikers. Colin Kazim-Richards and Waghorn must therefore be selected in a similar formation.

Only four points separates the Rams and Rotherham United. A Derby win would heap the pressure on the Millers, while Sheffield Wednesday could be relegated this weekend.

Also see: Simon Jordan reiterates Rooney stance, advises Derby to change manager this summer

Also see: Manager comments on future of 20-goal Derby target who can leave for free this summer

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