|Sunderland 1 v 1 Derby County|
Friday, 4th August 2017 Kick-off 19:45
G.M's Match Preview: Rams & Wolves Have Nothing To Lose But Pride & Points
Saturday, 29th Apr 2017 05:52 by George Martin
Derby goes into their final home game of the season with only pride and half an eye on next season to play for. Rowett is likely to make one or two changes to the starting line up that lost away to Sheffield Wednesday.
Bent, Hughes and Olsson are doubts and Max Lowe is out injured again. Olsson maybe nursed through the game, but he has an ankle problem. If he cannot start, Baird will revert to left back and Christie to right back.
Bent has a tight hamstring so the fit again Nugent will start, with Vydra playing just behind him. Hughes is struggling after a knock to the knee and had to pull out of training on Wednesday. If he does not start Bryson or Butterfield will deputise.
Some fans were initially surprised by Baird and Bent having their contracts renewed for 12 months, but it seems like clauses in their contract meant they were already staying and this was known by Bent as far back as February.
It was an ideal chance to freshen things up, but it is not to be. Yes, Bent has scored goals, but he offers nothing else; running the channels, winning free kicks to relieve pressure or holding the ball up.
Rowett may decide to bring some youngsters in on the bench but will choose from Anya, Russell and Ince for the wide positions. Rowett says the Rams will be motivated, but it is difficult to see how and why. They do earn very good money, so self motivation will be important.
Up until a few weeks ago Wolves were on a good run. They won 5 consecutive games to lull themselves away from the relegation zone and a recent away win at Leeds secured their championship status. Paul Lambert has done a sound job and will be looking to push on next season.
Wolves keeper Andy Lonergan is doubtful after injuring his back in the warm-up before the 1-0 loss to Huddersfield. He will face a late fitness test, but may not be risked.
Matt Doherty has a hamstring injury, but Jordan Graham is back after a 15-month lay-off. He should make the squad and could be brought on in the second half in preparation for next season.
Defender Silvio also returned to play last week in his first game under Paul Lambert following a broken foot. Finally, Joe Mason has recovered from a groin problem, but Michal Zyro is still absent following the serious knee injury he suffered last year. Weimann is ineligible due to his loan agreement with Derby.
With both teams having nothing to play for it is a strange game to predict. Both sets of players will be hoping to still impress their manager, but all players know a club would take them, so the 'playing for their careers' theory is not really valid. Player power rules.
A 2-2 draw with Nugent and Vydra to score.
Last Time They Met:
Derby 2 v 3 Wolves
Molineux – 5th November 2016
Classic Clash Video:
Derby 2 v 0 Wolves
The Baseball Ground - 8th May 1993
Pre-Match Video Previews:
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Photo: Action Images
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