Wayne Rooney’s Derby County head into their penultimate fixture of the Championship season this Saturday knowing that a win would represent a massive step in securing their survival in the division.
Following their 2-1 home loss against Birmingham City last week, the possibility of the Rams dropping down to League One next season remains a possibility, with Rooney’s side sitting in 21st place in the table, just four points above both Rotherham United and Sheffield Wednesday, with the Millers having the bonus of a game in hand.
However, a win against Swansea City this Saturday would see Derby take a huge step in securing their mathematical safety – potentially even clinching it today if the two teams immediately beneath them both lose.
So, will Rooney make any changes to the XI which started against Birmingham? Here’s our predicted XI, along with the latest team and injury news…
With Rooney being without long-term absentees of Lee Gregory, Teden Mengi, Jack Stretton, Curtis Davies and Krystian Bielik, in addition to the recent casualties of Andre Wisdom and Beni Baningime, there is not much room for manoeuvre ahead of the Swansea clash.
However, we still expect that the Rams boss will make two changes from the line-up which started against Birmingham last week.
Firstly, David Marshall could be set to return following Kelle Roos’ poor performance against the Blues, while Lee Buchanan could also find himself dropped to the bench for Patrick Roberts in order to provide the Rams with greater attacking impetus down the left-hand side of the pitch. The 24-year-old Manchester City loanee averages more shots, key passes and dribbles per game than his younger team-mate.
Otherwise, the team remains unchanged, meaning that Martyn Waghorn and Colin Kazim-Richards both look set to start in attack as Derby go in search of a potentially season-saving victory.