Derby County travel to Championship rivals Reading this weekend looking to put an end to their wretched away form which has seen the team slide down the table.
The Rams have lost five straight away games without scoring a goal.
It is Derby’s worst run of form for over a decade. While the defeats are painful, the lack of attacking threat is ultimately what is putting fans off from traveling to watch the games.
Manager Phillip Cocu needs a response from his players this weekend. And here is how we believe the team will line-up for the trip to the Madejski Stadium.
Can Derby County get back on track at Reading?
Scott Malone could come back in for Max Lowe. Both left-backs have shared that spot this season, with neither managing to consolidate themselves as first choice.
With Matt Clarke still injured, Curtis Davies and Craig Forsyth will remain in the middle.
Defensively, Derby haven’t been too bad in recent weeks. The Rams haven’t conceded more than one in a game since the 3-0 defeat against Fulham at Craven Cottage last month.
Scoring goals has been Derby’s biggest issue of late. And the return of £10 million summer signing Krystian Bielik may prove to be a turning point for the Rams.
While Bielik is predominantly a defensive player, the Pole helps initiate counterattacks by breaking up the opposition play. He averages 2.8 tackles per game.
The former Arsenal man is also direct in possession. He likes to drive forward, and push players on. In his absence, the Rams have lost the midfield battles.
Chris Martin, Martyn Waghorn and Tom Lawrence will likely lead the attack. The trio have suffered in recent weeks, and Cocu will be hoping they return to form.
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