Championship preview: Derby County vs Millwall

MILLWALL assistant boss Dave Livermore believes Derby County have got “a bit of everything” and praised Gary Rowett for the job he has done this season.

Livermore and Gary Rowett were on the Pro licence coaching course together, and the former Burton and Birmingham manager has guided the Rams into the promotion mix this season with a side containing vast Premier League and international experience.

Two of the Championship’s form sides meet at Pride Park on Saturday.

“They’ve got a good mixture of experience and youth,” Livermore said. “If you look through the spine of their team, [Scott] Carson in goals, [Richard] Keogh and [Curtis] Davies, [Tom] Huddlestone and [Joe] Ledley in midfield, [Chris] Martin and [David] Nugent up front, they’ve got a lot of Championship and Premier League experience.

"And then they’ve got that youthfulness in the three that play behind the front man, the likes of [Matej] Vydra, [Andreas] Weimann and [Tom] Lawrence. They’ve got a lot of energy.

“It’s going to be a really tough game. They’re fourth in the league, the fourth highest scorers and the third best defensive record, so they’re obviously doing something right.

"They’ve also got a very, very good manager. It’s nice to see another British manager doing well. I really like Gary, I was on the Pro licence with him and got to know him quite well. He’s a very nice guy and knows his football, knows the league. He’s done a very good job wherever he has been, at Burton and Birmingham before Derby.

“They’ve got a bit of everything, good players, experience and a very good manager. They’re organised behind the ball, can press high or sit off if they need to. They will be difficult to break down, and they can also play it out from the back or on the counter-attack.

“There’s a really good balance to what they do.”

Lions boss Neil Harris could name an unchanged side after last Saturday’s 2-1 win over Middlesbrough. Shane Ferguson and Fred Onyedinma are injured. Byron Webster is back jogging in the gym as he continues his recovery from a cruciate ligament injury.

Derby started eight players aged 30 or over in their win against the Villans last weekend, compared to Millwall with only Steve Morison in his 30s in their starting XI against Boro.

Rowett hopes to be able to select Weimann and Lawrence. The latter missed their 2-0 win over Aston Villa last weekend.

Form guide

Derby: WLWWW

Millwall: DLWDW

Millwall record against Derby

Played 52

Won 19 Drew 13 Lost 20

Possible line-ups

Millwall: 4-4-2: Archer; Romeo, Hutchinson, Cooper, Meredith; Wallace, Tunnicliffe, Saville, O'Brien; Gregory, Morison.

Derby: 4-2-3-1: Carson; Baird, Keogh, Davies, Forsyth; Huddlestone, Ledley; Weimann, Vydra, Johnson; Nugent.

Match odds

Derby 13/15 Draw 13/5 Millwall 19/5

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly