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Question of the Week

Is the squad strong enough to challenge for promotion?

Strong yes
Weak yes
Neutral
Weak no
Strong no


 

Derby Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 25/12/2002

AFTER Town’s much needed win against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, Grimsby need to continue their run of good form with a result against a strong Derby County outfit who, this time last year of course, were a Premiership side.

Home > 2002-2003 Season > Previews > Derby (a)


The Bottom Line

The Mariners desperately need to string a set of results together. Therefore a win or a draw would be a perfect Christmas gift for the Town fans.

The Opposition - Any Good?

Derby, despite their relegation to division one and their terrible financial problems still have a very strong side. Defenders Danny Higginbottom (left) (who had that awful clash of heads with Steve Livingstone in August) and Chris Riggot are extremely highly rated and have been linked with moves away from Pride Park after the transfer window re-opens in January. In midfield they have the experience of Rob Lee and Craig Burley whilst they have Malcom Christie up front. Just to top the team off, the have none other that Georgian wizard Georgi Kinkladze on the bench. Not bad is it?

Recent Form

 

TownDerby
WSheff Wed(h)2-0
LPreston(a)0-3
LWalsall(a)1-3
LLeicester(h)1-2
LPalace(a)0-2
LCoventry(a)0-3
WBrighton(h)1-0
WWatford(h)3-0
LNorwich(a)0-1
WWimbledonha)3-2

Players To Watch

 

TownDerby

Georges Santos

Lee Morris

For the Sheffield Wednesday preview, he was the "player to watch" for the Mariners and on Thursday, the importance of his performance will be no difference. Santos, who signed a deal until the end of the season three weeks ago put in a marvellous performance in central defence, helping the Mariners earn a clean sheet for the first time in nine games. If he can produce this form on Boxing Day, Town will stand an excellent chance of achieving a positive result.

A livewire player who can play on the left of midfield or as an out and out striker. He cost the club £3 million which could rise to four depending on appearances. His lightening pace has caused problems for many teams this season and has seen him bag 4 goals in the process. The form of the likes of players like Morris and Malcom Christie will determine in the next month or so, whether Derby will remain in mid-table or mount a serious challenge to the top end of the league.

Top Scorers

 

TownDerby

Kabba 6
Pouton 4
Campbell 4
Livingstone 3

Christie 6
Morris 4
Bolder 3
Burton 3

Team News

 

TownDerby

  • The Mariners would ideally like to stick with the same side that beat Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, however, with games coming up thick and fast, Paul Groves has hinted that that may not be possible.

  • Therefore, Stacy Coldicott who was patched up in order to play just four days ago will be rested, with Paul Groves replacing him. This could mean that the player-boss and George Santos swap roles in midfield and defence, but it is unlikely after Santos’ man of the match display.

  • Elsewhere, Tony Gallimore is definitely out while John McDermott remains a few days off fitness.

  • Iain Ward may continue at right back, but could replaced with Jason Gavin
  • County will hope that defender Danny Higginbottom will recover from an ankle knock in order to take his place in the Rams defence. He may well replace Steve Elliott if he passes a fitness test.

  • Rob Lee could return to the starting line up after sitting out County’s defeat at Coventry. He could replace Adam Bolder in midfield.

  • Paul Boertien will continue, despite being forced off with a head injury on Sunday evening. He has recovered and he will face the Mariners.
  • Probable Starting XI's

     

    TownDerby
    Danny Coyne
    Iain Ward
    Simon Ford
    George Santos
    Darren Barnard
    John Oster
    Stuart Campbell
    Paul Groves
    Alan Pouton
    Steve Livingstone
    Darren Mansaram
    Lee Grant
    Chris Riggott
    Danny Higginbottom
    Ian Evatt
    Warren Barton
    Rob Lee
    Craig Burley
    Paul Boertien
    Lee Morris
    Malcom Christie
    Izale McLeod

    Subs

     

    TownDerby
    David Soames
    Terry Cooke
    Stacy Coldicott
    Jason Gavin
    Sean Allaway (GK)
    Steve Elliott
    Adam Bolder
    Georgi Kinkladze
    Pablo Mills
    Andy Oakes (GK)

    Last Time Out

    Derby will be going out, looking to do the double on the Mariners after their 2-1 victory at Blundell Park back in August. That was the game of course that saw Steve Livingstone stretchered off after 10 minutes when he clashed heads with Danny Higginbottom. This left Livvo with a fractured skull and was out of the game for nearly two months. The game itself was delayed for ten minutes and Derby went on to win 2-1 with a double from Adam Bolder after Darren Barnard had previously scored Town’s goal.

    Town Team: Coyne, McDermott, Gallimore, Groves, Chettle (Ford), Coldicott (Robinson), Barnard, Campbell, Cooke, Rowan, Livingstone (Jevons).
    Subs (not used): Ward and Hughes.

    Attendance: 5,810    Report

    Derby Head-to-Head (85th on The Opposition Ladder).

    Prediction

    Fishy prediction: 1-1 Draw Reader's POMs

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