Derby County prepare for 'underachieving talent' of Charlton Athletic

Derby County vs Charlton Athletic kicks off at 7.45pm on Tuesday 27 February
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Derby County's next challenge comes in the form of Charlton Athletic who the Rams will be facing for the second time this month.

Despite a managerial change to former Luton and Southampton manager Nathan Jones in that time, the Addicks are still struggling in 20th place, looking nervously over their shoulder.

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Whereas the Rams still sit in second place, seven points behind league leaders Portsmouth. However, tonight's game will give Derby the chance to gain on Pompey as the south-coast outfit don't play today.

Underachieving talent

It's no secret that Charlton have some quality players. The Addicks have brought in 21 new faces with some loan deals and some transfers.

Two of those 21 players really jump out as stars that should have propelled Charlton much higher up the table.

Firstly, they added former Cheltenham striker Alfie May in the summer for a fee of £300k. The 29 year-old has been one of the only bright sparks in the Addicks' season.

Alfie May has scored 16 goals in 31 league gamesAlfie May has scored 16 goals in 31 league games
Alfie May has scored 16 goals in 31 league games
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May has scored 16 goals in League One, just one off the top spot in the division. He will certainly be expected to cause the Rams some issues this evening and Paul Warne will be very aware of that.

Secondly, they also signed Conor Coventry from West Ham for over £1 million. The 23 year-old joined in January in the hope that he would help Charlton climb up the table.

He has made six appearances so far and has been in and out of the starting XI. It wouldn't be a suprise to see the centre midfielder click into gear in the near future. He certainly has the talent.

Chance to bounce back

For the Rams, tonight is a big chance to bounce back to winning ways after a 2-1 defeat at promotion rivals Barnsley on Saturday.

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Derby put in a decent performance in what was a close game, but they were narrowly second best.

New striker Dwight Gayle came on after 61 minutes and had a couple of touches in what was his debut in black and white.

Dwight Gayle joined Derby on a free agent deal last weekDwight Gayle joined Derby on a free agent deal last week
Dwight Gayle joined Derby on a free agent deal last week

Gayle should have improved his match fitness and will hopefully be looking to make more of an impact in tonight's game for his home debut.

The Rams' form has been decent of late as they have averaged two points a game in the last five. With a win, Paul Warne's side would keep the pressure on Portsmouth going within four points.

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They'll also need to keep and eye on the likes of Bolton and Barnsley behind them, so a win could give the Rams some breathing space.

Predictions

Despite their struggles, Charlton provided a tough test for Derby when they faced eachother earlier in the month. Nathan Jones' side won't be put off by the big crowd and bright lights at Pride Park.

Derby will have to put in a better performance than Saturday if they are to show the home faithful that they truly belong in second place.

A 2-0 or 2-1 scoreline could be likely in a game that could take Derby out of the top two with anything but a win.

Derby County vs Charlton Athletic kicks off at 7.45pm at Pride Park tonight.