Derby v Fulham

Tuesday 1 January 2002

Chris Riggott did not suffer a reaction to his calf injury in the Rams' 1-0 win over Blackburn and will continue in defence. Giorgi Kinkladze (neck) and Youl Mawene (ankle) are fighting for fitness.

Fulham midfielder Lee Clark faces at least another week on the sidelines with a strained calf.

Derby expect to welcome Sven Goran Eriksson's England assistant coach, Tord Grip, to Pride Park. Grip, who often attends games for Eriksson so as to monitor potential international recruits, will be running the rule over young Rams duo Chris Riggott and Malcolm Christie.

The Cottagers go into the game on the back of a run of indifferent form, having won just once in their last nine games.

The Rams, meanwhile, have three wins and three defeats from their last six games. And though the London side have a six-place advantage over Derby, there are actually only five points separating the teams, increasing the importance of this latest meeting.

MOST SIGNIFICANT STATS:

Current League positions

DERBY COUNTY: 18th 19 points

FULHAM: 12th 24 points

SEQUENCES / RECENT FORM

DERBY COUNTY:
2 wins in last 3
3 wins in last 6 - all Prem
WON LAST 2 - both Prem

FULHAM:
NOT WON IN 4 - all Prem [2 draws, 2 defeats]
1 win in last 7 Premiership matches
NOT WON IN 3 AWAY - all Prem [2 draws, 1 loss]
NOT SCORED IN 3 AWAY [295 mins / 4 hours 55 minutes]

NOTES

Derby's fight for Premiership survival was boosted by Christmas victories, 3-1 at home to Aston Villa, and 1-0 at Blackburn - their first away win of the season. In between, the Rams lost 4-0 at West Ham.

Fulham have picked up just one point from the holiday programme. Their visit to Middlesbrough was called off.

On Boxing Day they held Charlton to a goalless draw at home, and on Sunday Jean Tigana's team put up an impressive display against Manchester United, but ended odd goal in five losers.

Although Derby are six places below Fulham in the table, they've have picked up more points in their recent matches.

The Rams have chalked up three victories in their last seven games, while Fulham have managed just one - a 2-0 home win over Everton.

NEXT MATCHES: F A Cup Third Round:

DERBY COUNTY: Sun 6 Jan - Bristol Rovers (H)
FULHAM: Sat 5 Jan - Wycombe Wanderers (A)

PREVIOUS MEETINGS:

Total: 46 - Derby wins 17 - Fulham wins 15 - Draws 14

HEAD TO HEAD NOTES:

* Fulham have never won in the top flight at Derby.

* First Premiership meeting between these clubs at Pride Park.

* First League meeting at Derby for 17 years.

* The Rams are aiming for a fifth home League win over Fulham in succession.

* Fulham have failed to beat Derby in five League visits (1 draw, 4 losses).

* The Cottagers won their first ever League visit to the Baseball Ground, 0-1 on 7 September, 1907, and have only won once since. That was 3-4 on 25 August, 1954. Both these games were in the old Second Division.

* Fulham have twice knocked Derby out of the Worthington Cup. They won 5-2 at Craven Cottage in the Third Round this season, on 10 October, and 3-2, also at Craven Cottage in the Fourth Round last season on 29 November, 2000.

MAN IN THE MIDDLE - BARRY KNIGHT (Orpington, Kent)