Derby are down to the bare bones for their final Championship fixture against Cardiff at Pride Park.

Goalkeeper Stephen Bywater (rib), defenders Dean Leacock (knee) and Jake Buxton (stomach) and Miles Addison (foot) and forward Steve Davies (ankle) were already absentees.

But they have been joined on the sidelines this week by centre-half Russell Anderson (hamstring), midfielder Stephen Pearson (knee) and leading scorer Rob Hulse (groin) while on-loan striker Gilles Sunu has returned to Arsenal for treatment on a shin injury that Rams boss Nigel Clough thinks will require surgery in the summer.

Meanwhile, midfielder Paul Green (thigh) and striker Chris Porter (knee) are receiving treatment for knocks and a late decision will be made on their fitness.

Kris Commons returned for the reserves on Thursday following two months out with a torn hamstring and the Scotland international scored as the Rams' second string secured the title.

The former Nottingham Forest forward could feature against the Bluebirds, although Clough is unlikely to risk playing him from the start.

Cardiff boss Dave Jones could well make a raft of changes for the trip as he keeps one eye fixed on the club`s play-off bid.

A entire changed XI from the one which saw off Sheffield Wednesday 3-2 last weekend could start the encounter at Pride Park, with Jones likely to rest key players such as Peter Whittingham, Jay Bothroyd, Michael Chopra and Joe Ledley.

Goalkeeper David Marshall is also expected to make way for Peter Enckelman although it does remain to be seen just how much Jones will tinker with his line-up.

Of the side that started against the Owls, winger Kelvin Etuhu could be on the only survivor although Tony Capaldi may also keep his place at left-back depending on the fitness of Mark Kennedy (calf).

But Jones is able to call upon recognised replacements with the likes of Mark Hudson, Gabor Gyepes, Chris Burke and Ross McCormack expected to come in to gain valuable match practice while Solomon Taiwo may also put back his hip operation to figure.

Cardiff are already all-but assured of home advantage in the semi-finals but still have a chance of snatching third spot while Derby are well clear of relegation danger.

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Topics:
#Arsenal
#Chris Burke
#Sheffield Wednesday
#Rob Hulse
#Kelvin Etuhu
#Gabor Gyepes
#Solomon Taiwo
#Peter Enckelman
#Peter Whittingham
#Paul Green
#Ross McCormack
#Kris Commons
#Championship
#Mark Hudson
#Jake Buxton
#Stephen Pearson
#Cardiff City
#Tony Capaldi
#Paul Green
#Russell Anderson
#Derby County
#Chris Porter
#David Marshall
#Michael Chopra
#Nottingham Forest
#Steve Davies
#Joe Ledley
#Mark Hudson
#Stephen Bywater
#Miles Addison
#Mark Hudson
#Mark Kennedy
#Dean Leacock
#Anderson
#Jay Bothroyd
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