Rams struggling on striker front
Steve Davies is the Rams' only fully-fit forward with Chris Porter and Rob Hulse definitely ruled out and Kris Commons and Luke Varney only likely to be fit enough for the bench. Giles Barnes underwent surgery on Wednesday after rupturing his Achilles in Derby's final pre-season friendly against Stoke last weekend and is set to be sidelined until the New Year. Porter's long-standing hip problem has still to clear up and he also needs an operation, ruling him out for up to four months, while last season's top scorer Hulse is still recovering after having minor groin surgery at the start of the summer. Commons is lacking fitness after only returning from a hamstring injury at the end of July and Varney has been suffering with a bout of flu. Clough also has problems at the back with summer signing Shaun Barker struggling with a thigh injury and fellow centre-half Dean Leacock having only recently resumed training after aggravating a groin problem in pre-season, so Jake Buxton is likely to make his competitive debut for the Rams following his arrival from Burton.
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