PREVIEW: Derby face Stoke City in early season away trip

Image Credit: Stoke City Football Club

The Rams travel to the Bet365 Stadium, following their second successive away victory in competitive football this season.

Derby will be backed by a sold out away end, who will take the short trip up the A50 to follow Phillip Cocu and his side.

The Dutchman will be looking to continue his unbeaten start to managerial life at Derby, whilst Nathan Jones will be looking to stop the rot at the Potters and get them back on track.


The Opposition

Stoke City come into the game in 23rd, after suffering two defeats at the hands of Charlton and QPR.

After being tipped as promotion favourites last season under Gary Rowett, the Potters failed to live up to expectations and slouched to 16th. The poor start to the season saw the dismissal of Rowett in January, as Jones was brought in to usher in a new style at Stoke.


Previous meetings

The last meeting between the two sides saw a 0-0 draw played out at Pride Park in March. Both sides had very few chances and Stoke’s good defensive foundation paid dividends in earning them a point on the day.

The meeting before, played out a 2-1 victory for the Potters in a fiery encounter that saw Stoke go down to ten men and Derby’s Bradley Johnson suspended for biting Joe Allen.


Team News

Derby are without any fresh injury concerns from Scunthorpe, with the latest news on right-back Jayden Bogle being that the time frame for a return is likely to be in “weeks” and not “months”.

Stoke are also without any fresh injury concerns, with Peter Etebo, who was sent off in the clash between the two sides in November, likely to return to the fold after his return from the African Cup of Nations.


Manager’s thoughts

Cocu believes Stoke will be a “tough” and “difficult game” as he prepares his team for Saturday.

“They will be eager to get their first win in the league,” Cocu said, continuing: “So, we have to be prepared. They won the cup game, so they will feel better.”

The manager also gave his thoughts on the upcoming run of fixtures for the Rams, saying: “We’ve got a lot of games coming up, and there are no easy games. That’s why we need all the players in our squad.”

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