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Derby V Crystal Palace at Pride Park Stadium : Match Preview
Published : 28 Feb 2013 14:01:39
Derby V Crystal Palace - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.
Duo to return for Derby
Defenders Gareth Roberts and Jake Buxton will make a timely return to Derby's starting line-up when promotion-chasing Crystal Palace visit Pride Park on Friday night.
Left-back Roberts has completed a three-match suspension for the red card he received during the defeat at Hull.
The 35-year-old comes back just as teenager Michael Hoganson joins the Rams' list of injured defenders. Hoganson, who has filled in for Roberts, was forced off against Watford last weekend with hip and foot problems.
Midfielder Ben Davies covered at left-back in the second half at Vicarage Road, having started the game at right-back, but he is doubtful with a groin injury.
Buxton only returned from a nine-week absence with knee ligament trouble in February. The problem has been playing up recently, ruling him out of three matches, but the centre-half came off the bench to play the second half at Watford.
Buxton being available again will see John Brayford, who has been partnering Richard Keogh at the heart of the back four, revert to his more accustomed right-back role.
Full-back Kieron Freeman (ankle) is a week or so away from fitness while versatile defender James O'Connor (knee) is also still out.
Teenage midfielder Will Hughes will miss the visit of Palace and the trip to npower Championship leaders Cardiff next Tuesday with the groin strain that has sidelined him for the past two games.
On-loan Norwich striker Chris Martin could be in line for his home debut after making his first appearance for the Rams as a half-time substitute at Watford.
Crystal Palace are hoping Wilfried Zaha will be fit for the trip.
The Manchester United-bound winger missed last weekend's 1-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday with an ankle knock and will be assessed ahead of kick-off.
The Eagles are still without a host of players through injury.
Skipper Paddy McCarthy (groin) remains a long-term absentee and fellow defenders Joel Ward (groin) and Danny Gabbidon (hamstring) will miss out again, although the latter pair could be back in the next week or so.
Midfielders Owen Garvan (knee), Andre Moritz (ankle) and Alex Nimely (hamstring) are also on the injured list.
Full-back Dean Moxey, an unused sub against the Owls, will be hoping to be involved against his former club.