After reaching the top of the Skybet Championship for the first time since December, Derby County will welcome a revitalised Charlton Athletic to the iPro Stadium as both sides look to continue their good flourish of form which they currently find themselves in.
The Rams’ 3-2 victory over Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday ensured that Steve McClaren’s side leap-frogged promotion rivals Bournemouth and Middlesbrough who both fell short to defeats at the hands of Brentford and Leeds United respectively. Meanwhile for The Addicks, back-to-back 3-0 drubbings of Brentford and more recently Wigan Athletic have lifted Charlton to the brink of the top half of the Championship table.
Top scorer Chris Martin remains side-lined through a hamstring injury, meaning January loan signing Darren Bent should start against the club where he made 79 appearances and where his current manager rewarded him with his England call-up. Derby County winger Johnny Russell may just fall short of a starting spot and so may have to settle for a place on the bench after missing the last seven matches through injury.
New Charlton signing Alou Diarra could make his debut for Guy Luzon’s side. The former France international signed for the Reds this afternoon on an initial contract until the end of the season after being released by West Ham in the summer. Chris Eagles is in line to make his first start for Charlton after coming on and scoring Charlton’s third in their 3-0 win at the DW Stadium on Friday. Meanwhile Spurs loanee Milos Veljkovic and skipper Johnnie Jackson will definitely miss out through long term injuries.
A win for Steve McClaren's side would tighten his sides' grip on the top spot of the Championship table whereas for Charlton, anything other than a defeat would be a timely boost to their relegation survival aim as they look to push on into the top half of the division.