£300,000 man to return in Derby County predicted XI vs Barnsley

Derby County vs Barnsley kicks off at 3pm on Saturday 27 February
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Derby County find themselves making a trip to Barnsley this weekend as they look to solidify their place in the top two.

A big promotion battle between two sides that could have a massive impact on who earns promotion back to the Championship come the end of the season.

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Barnsley are in fourth place, just six points behind the Rams with a game in hand and so will be desperate to get one over on the Rams.

With James Collins out for an extended time, Paul Warne added former Newcastle and West Brom man Dwight Gayle. It is unlikely that he will start on Saturday but could certainly have some involvement.

Formation - 4-3-3

Goalkeeper: Joe Wildsmith

Joe Wildsmith playing for Derby County against Crewe AlexandraJoe Wildsmith playing for Derby County against Crewe Alexandra
Joe Wildsmith playing for Derby County against Crewe Alexandra

Joe Wildsmith will be starting yet again this weekend. He is the number one choice again after an injury to Josh Vickers.

Left back: Callum Elder

Callum Elder playing for Derby County against Northampton TownCallum Elder playing for Derby County against Northampton Town
Callum Elder playing for Derby County against Northampton Town

Callum Elder has been in really good form lately and has become a big part of Paul Warne's plans. He has been playing an attacking full back role recently and is relishing the chance.

Centre back: Eiran Cashin

Eiran Cashin playing for Derby County against Oxford UnitedEiran Cashin playing for Derby County against Oxford United
Eiran Cashin playing for Derby County against Oxford United
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Eiran Cashin is a must start every week. He will be vital in stopping the likes of Devante Cole and Barnsley's strong attacking threat.

Centre back: Curtis Nelson

Curtis Nelson playing for Derby County against Northampton TownCurtis Nelson playing for Derby County against Northampton Town
Curtis Nelson playing for Derby County against Northampton Town

Curtis Nelson, much like Cashin, will have to be on top form this weekend against the Tykes. He has started every game so far this season and has become a fan favourite in the process.

Right back: Ryan Nyambe

Ryan Nyambe playing for Derby County against Oxford UnitedRyan Nyambe playing for Derby County against Oxford United
Ryan Nyambe playing for Derby County against Oxford United

Ryan Nymabe has returned to the starting XI again. The defender was quiet against Stevenage last weekend but should have more of an impact against Barnsley.

Centre midfield: Conor Hourihane

Conor Hourihane playing for Derby County against Crewe AlexandraConor Hourihane playing for Derby County against Crewe Alexandra
Conor Hourihane playing for Derby County against Crewe Alexandra

Conor Hourihane missed out on starting last weekend due to suffering a knock the week before. But he should be back this weekend. He will be hoping to help the Rams to a win against his former team in Barnsley.

Centre midfield: Max Bird

Max Bird playing for Derby County against Crewe AlexandraMax Bird playing for Derby County against Crewe Alexandra
Max Bird playing for Derby County against Crewe Alexandra
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Max Bird has been in very good form lately. He has two goals in his last three games and has been playing a much more attacking role.

Centre midfield: Ebou Adams

Ebou Adams moved to Derby in January from Cardiff City on loanEbou Adams moved to Derby in January from Cardiff City on loan
Ebou Adams moved to Derby in January from Cardiff City on loan

The cliche is to not fall in love with a loan player, but many Derby fans already have with Adams. He's been excellent since arriving at Pride Park in January.

Left wing: Tom Barkhuizen

Tom Barkhuizen playing for Derby County against Crewe AlexandraTom Barkhuizen playing for Derby County against Crewe Alexandra
Tom Barkhuizen playing for Derby County against Crewe Alexandra

Tom Barkhuizen has been in and out of the starting XI, but with no James Collins, he will likely play in place of Mendez-Laing who could play up front.

Right wing: Corey Blackett-Taylor

Corey Blackett-Taylor playing for Charlton before he moved to Derby CountyCorey Blackett-Taylor playing for Charlton before he moved to Derby County
Corey Blackett-Taylor playing for Charlton before he moved to Derby County

Blackett-Taylor missed the last game due to an injury to his hamstring. He will be available for selection this weekend again for the tough test of Barnsley.

Striker: Nathaniel Mendez-Laing

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing playing for Derby County against Crewe AlexandraNathaniel Mendez-Laing playing for Derby County against Crewe Alexandra
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing playing for Derby County against Crewe Alexandra
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Nathaniel Mendez-Laing has been arguably Derby's best player this season. The Guatemalan winger played up front in place of James Collins and should do the same against Barnsley. However, he may return to his natural wide position when Dwight Gayle comes into the team.