High-flying Derby will look to build on their hard fought win over Ipswich last weekend when they face local rivals Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
The Rams moved up to second in the table on the back of a third straight win however the result came at a price with John Eustace sent off.
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The midfielder, already suspended for this weekend, is set to be missing for a much longer period now with news emerging that he requires surgery on his knee.
Manager Steve McClaren is likely to turn to Omar Mascarell to replace the veteran although he could ask Craig Bryson, scorer of a hat-trick in the 5-0 win last season, to come into the side.
Another midfielder, young Irish International Jeff Henderick is expected to be in the side despite suffering a cut to his head last weekend while new signing Stephen Warnock is nursing an ankle injury and will not be involved.
Forest meanwhile will hope star striker Britt Assombalonga will be fit. The 13 goal hit man suffered a hip injury in the 2-0 home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday and is a doubt.
The loss was Forest’s third in a row and extended their winless run to 8 in all competitions. Stuart Pearce’s side briefly led the table at the start of the season but are currently 13th in the standings 10 points off 6th place Watford.
While there are doubts over Assombalonga, Pearce will at least be able to call on Henri Lansbury. The midfielder is available after serving a two match ban while centre-half Kelvin Wilson has been training after missing out last weekend through illness.
Michael Mancienne and Matty Fryatt are still sidelined and won’t be involved while Andy Reid is edging closer to a first time return but is likely to have to wait.