Derby County predicted XI vs Lincoln City in EFL Trophy fixture

Derby County face Lincoln City in their opening game in the EFL Trophy this year, here’s our predicted XI for Paul Warne’s side
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Paul Warne will be desperate to see an improvement from his side who have been less than stellar so far this season in League One. However, tonight he may have the chance to experiement with his players slightly as they face Lincoln City in the EFL Trophy at Pride Park.

Last season, the Rams never made it out of the group stage of this competition and so will be hoping for a better result this year. However, it is still expected that Paul Warne will rotate his squad to get more players onto the pitch.

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Coming off the back of a 1-1 home draw against Portsmouth, here’s our predicted line up for Paul Warne’s side tonight against Lincoln.

Goalkeeper: Josh Vickers

Josh Vickers playing for Rotherham United in a Championship game vs Burnley Josh Vickers playing for Rotherham United in a Championship game vs Burnley
Josh Vickers playing for Rotherham United in a Championship game vs Burnley

Josh Vickers has not had the opportunity to play much this season due to the strong performances from Rams number one Joe Wildsmith. Expect Paul Warne to start Vickers in the EFL Trophy to give him precious game time to help with his form and match sharpness.

Centre back: Sonny Bradley

Sonny Bradley playing for Derby County in a League One match vs Oxford United Sonny Bradley playing for Derby County in a League One match vs Oxford United
Sonny Bradley playing for Derby County in a League One match vs Oxford United

Sonny Bradley has struggled to find his feet since arriving at Pride Park. Many expected him to be a starter every week but poor performances early on have kept him on the sidelines.

It is likley he will start tonight to get him some game time and hopefully pull him out of his bad patch and into some form where he can be a useful asset for the Rams.

Centre back: Curtis Nelson

Curtis Nelson playing for Derby County in a League One match vs Oxford United Curtis Nelson playing for Derby County in a League One match vs Oxford United
Curtis Nelson playing for Derby County in a League One match vs Oxford United
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Curtis Nelson has been steadily proving himself for Derby. He looks comfortable in the system and in defence and should be a mainstay of the team for a number of games.

Warne won’t want to completeley shut out his starting players from the game tonight and seeing as Nelson has been a solid option at the back, he could well make another appearance tonight.

Centre back: Craig Forsyth

Craig Forsyth playing for Derby County in a League One match vs Fleetwood Town Craig Forsyth playing for Derby County in a League One match vs Fleetwood Town
Craig Forsyth playing for Derby County in a League One match vs Fleetwood Town

Forsyth has as always been an ever-present in Derby’s lineup and tonight should be no different. With Conor Hourihane likely to miss the game due to injury, expect the Scottish defender to start and take the captain’s armband in place of Hourihane.

Left wing: Callum Elder

Callum Elder playing for Derby County in a League One match vs Fleetwood Town Callum Elder playing for Derby County in a League One match vs Fleetwood Town
Callum Elder playing for Derby County in a League One match vs Fleetwood Town

Callum Elder has been slowly getting used to his new club and this new style of football that Paul Warne is trying to implement. However, his performances have a lot to be desired as of yet.

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The new arrival will need more and more game time in order to help him develop into the wing-back player that Warne wants him to be. Another appearance against Lincoln would be really useful for the Aussie.

Right wing: Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson playing for Derby County in a League One match vs Portsmouth Kane Wilson playing for Derby County in a League One match vs Portsmouth
Kane Wilson playing for Derby County in a League One match vs Portsmouth

Kane Wilson has returned from his knee injury well and he made an appearance against Portsmouth at the weekend. The wing back looked very positive and bright in a flat Rams performance.

Wilson has said that the Rams needs to ‘dominate’ games more often, expect to see him contibute tonight as he returns to the starting XI on a more permanent basis.

Centre Midfield: Tyrese Fornah

Tyrese Fornah playing for Reading last season Tyrese Fornah playing for Reading last season
Tyrese Fornah playing for Reading last season

The EFL Trophy is a good opportunity for Paul Warne to give some newer players valuable game time for their new club. Tyrese Fornah is no different. He came off at half time in Derby’s draw to Portsmouth at the weekend and so should still be full of energy.

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It would be useful for the midfielder to make an appearance and learn Warne’s system better in tonight’s clash.

Centre Midfield: Darren Robinson

Darren Robinson playing for Derby County U23s against Arsenal Darren Robinson playing for Derby County U23s against Arsenal
Darren Robinson playing for Derby County U23s against Arsenal

Darren Robinson was a stand-out youngster in the preseason for Derby and with the squad getting thin in midfield with injuries to Max Bird and Conor Hourihane, the EFL Trophy would provide a good chance for Robinson to get some first team football for Derby.

He is a break-out candidate this season and the first step towards that could be against Lincoln City at Pride Park tonight.

Centre Midfield: Louie Sibley

Louie Sibley playing for Derby County last season Louie Sibley playing for Derby County last season
Louie Sibley playing for Derby County last season

Louie Sibley came on from the bench in the Rams 1-1 draw with Portsmouth at the weekend and looked like he was all but back from his ankle injury.

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The 22-year-old midfielder could do with some gamtime to help with his match sharpness and tonight’s game could be the perfect chance for him to get even just 60 minutes or so under his belt.

Once he is fully fit, expect him to be a big part of the Rams’ midfield with injury issues affecting a number of starters.

Striker: Tyreece John-Jules

Tyreece John-Jules in training with Arsenal Tyreece John-Jules in training with Arsenal
Tyreece John-Jules in training with Arsenal

Since joining the Rams on loan from Arsenal, Tyreece John-Jules has yet to make an impact, coming on for just 15 minutes in the Rams’ 2-1 loss to Bolton earlier in the month.

It would be a good opportunity for John-Jules to get some more game time with his new teamates, as he has pace, he would also add something new to a Derby side that lacks in speed up front.

Striker: James Collins

Photo by MicPhoto by Mic
Photo by Mic
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Scoring the Rams’ penalty against Portsmouth, Collins has been figting with the likes of Martyn Waghorn and Conor Washington for first team football.

If he was to appear tonight against Lincoln City, it would provide him with the chance to show that he can be a solid goalscorer for Derby.