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Leicester v Derby – Match Preview

Leicester City travel to Pride Park tomorrow in what will be there third local derby in the space of a month, the ‘Foxes’ have already eased past 3rd placed Nottingham Forest, also for Leicester they could only manage a draw in the m69 derby against Coventry. Tomorrow they will take on Derby County who currently occupy 18th place.

Leicester –
Nigel Pearson’s side were undeservedly defeated on Wednesday night against Brian McDermott’s in-form Reading. However the loss didn’t really matter as fellow promotion rivals Swansea lost while Cardiff could only manage a draw. Pearson will be hoping that his side can regain some form against Derby, and he could well hand a starting debut to Liverpool youngster Jay Spearing. Leicester have had many problems in the left-back position recently as Ryan McGivern has had a torrid time covering for Bruno Berner, therefore Pearson could well opt for a change in that respective position. Like I have mentioned many times before, Leicester cannot afford any crucial slip-ups at this stage of the season.

Derby – The ‘Rams’ have struggled this season under the guidance of Nigel Clough, and for his side they would well be slumped into a relegation battle if they don’t find form soon. In their last six games they have only managed to pick up one win and that came against fellow strugglers Watford. Derby County’s squad is one of the biggest in the league and with the players they have got; you would think they would be doing a lot better. From my point of view I thought Derby would be in and around the top ten but a striker crisis at the club has cost them dearly this season. The ‘Rams’ will hoping for all three points on Saturday but I can’t see them beating local rivals Leicester City.

Leicester –
Leicester could well hand an away debut to new loan signing Jay Spearing, while fit again James Vaughan and Wayne Brown will be pushing for starts. However Bruno Berner and Alex Bruce have both been ruled out through injury.

Derby – Nigel Clough could also hand a debut to one of his new loan signings, Tomasz Cywka. Steven Davies and Dean Leacock are pushing for recalls but the duo of Miles Addison and Kris Commons are long term absentees.

Leicester – Jack Hobbs.
The Leicester centre back has been in immense form over the past couple of months, Hobbs could also be handed an England Under 21 call-up in the future as it has been rumoured that Stuart Pearce has been impressed with his performances. His tackling and his heading have really improved and he has also put in some man of the match performances for Leicester of late.

Derby – Michael Tonge. Over the past month the central midfielder has been impressive for Derby County. Since joining the club from Premier League side Stoke City, Tonge has managed to score two goals for Derby. He has been a great addition to the squad and he could well trouble Leicester with his desire to shoot from long range.

Considering where these two sides are in the table you can only see one outcome and that’s a Leicester win, however Derby have won four of their last 6 home matches and there squad has been bolstered dramatically over the past month. The last time these two sides met it was a 0-0 draw, I think it depends which defenders Nigel Pearson puts out on the day. It could well be another close match between these two East Midlands rivals and from my point of view Leicester could well steal this, Derby 1-2 Leicester.

Match Stats
Kick-Off – 3.00pm Saturday
Date – 27/03/2010
Ground – Pride Park
Managers – Nigel Pearson/Nigel Clough

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