MATCH PREVIEW: DERBY v WEST HAM
Posted on: Thu 08 Nov 2007
Both sides will want to head into the November international break on the back of a good result.
The Hammers are unbeaten in four but were frustratingly denied at the death in their last outing when Kevin Nolan earned a stoppage-time point for Bolton.
Derby are without a victory since the 1-0 win over Newcastle in September but also know that three points on Saturday will ensure they stay right in touch with the teams immediately above them.
Matthew Etherington told www.whufc.com:
"We are looking to go there (Derby) and win.
"To have 15 points is not a bad start but it could be better. We will hopefully get a few of the injured players back and get three points at Derby.
"It is important to get in the top half - instead of looking behind you are looking above.
"We want to be pushing up the league this season and not be looking behind us."
Derby are hopeful that Scottish striker Kenny Miller will be available to face the Hammers.
Miller missed out on last week's defeat at Aston Villa with a hamstring problem but has been making progress this week.
Claude Davis damaged an abductor muscle at Villa and was rated as "touch and go" earlier this week by boss Billy Davies.
Davies is also waiting on the results of Andy Todd's visit to a spinal specialist on Wednesday.
The experienced defender has been suffering from niggling back and hamstring problems over recent weeks and hasn't played for the first-team since September.
West Ham's treatment room might as well have a booking system, such is their list of injury problems at the moment.
Kieron Dyer, Scott Parker, Dean Ashton, Julien Faubert, Freddie Ljungberg, Craig Bellamy, Bobby Zamora, Anton Ferdinand and Mark Noble all missed the Bolton draw.
Hayden Mullins was forced off during Sunday's game with a foot injury.
The overall record between the two clubs couldn't be much tighter with Derby enjoying 23 wins, West Ham notching 24, alongside 25 draws.
Derby took four points from the Hammers the last time they met, in 2004/05, with a 1-1 draw at Pride Park and a 2-1 win at the Boleyn Ground.
The Rams' last home win against West Ham came in December 1997 when Dean Sturridge netted in a 2-0 success.
Stephen Bywater played as a Hammer in this fixture back in September 2004 and now he is set to line up in Rams colours.
Tyrone Mears remains on 99 career league outings with Manchester City, Preston, West Ham and Derby after not being used last week at Aston Villa.
Eddie Lewis is also still one short of a milestone - he currently sits on 249 English games since arriving on these shores.
Matt Oakley is set for his 50th league appearance in Derby colours, while Steve Howard will reach 450 career league starts if he lines up from the off.
Mark Clattenburg blows the whistle at Pride Park for the first time since the 0-0 draw with Crewe Alexandra in March 2004.
He's done a couple of away games since then, the last coming at the start of 2006/07 when he took charge at the Britannia Stadium as the Rams went down 2-0 at Stoke City.
This season Clattenburg has overseen ten games, including the Manchester, Merseyside and North London derbies.
He's issued 32 yellow cards, along with three reds in his last two outings.
Two of those came in a fiery game at Goodison as Liverpool picked up a controversial last-minute 2-1 win at Everton.