Derby County v Hull C preview
Thu, 20 Dec 2012 16:57:00
Derby have several players nursing injuries ahead of the visit of Hull City in Friday night's Championship clash at Pride Park Stadium.
Defenders Mark O'Brien (cramp and illness) and Gareth Roberts (calf), midfielders Will Hughes (ankle) and Craig Bryson (knee), and striker Conor Sammon (calf) all finished last weekend's victory at Bristol City in some discomfort.
The Rams have been easing the walking wounded through the week but Bryson is more of a concern and may not be risked against the Tigers.
James O'Connor can fill in at centre-back for O'Brien and that is one of the reasons why he did not play for the Development squad on Monday afternoon.
With Jake Buxton out for up to eight weeks with medial knee ligament damage, the Rams also recalled central defender Valentin Gjokaj from his loan spell at Carlisle this week and the teenager will provide back up over the Christmas period.
Alex Bruce will miss out for Hull after their appeal against his red card last week against Huddersfield proved unsuccessful.
Bruce was sent off for violent conduct following an altercation with Huddersfield's Alan Lee after the final whistle and so either Paul McShane or Abdoulaye Faye will step in.
Hull will also be without David Stockdale following the goalkeeper's return to parent club Fulham.
Stockdale, 27, has started in all five of the Tigers' games in place of Ben Amos since arriving at the KC Stadium on loan in November, but has been recalled by the Londoners.
Manager Steve Bruce must decide whether to recall Amos or hand a debut to Swiss goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic.