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Rams stars back in action

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Kris Commons is expected to report back fit to face Sheffield United as Derby bid to end their unwanted run of 36 league matches without a win.

The former Nottingham Forest midfielder played 25 minutes as a substitute in Scotland's 1-0 win over Macedonia, and made his full international debut against Iceland in Reykjavik on Wednesday.

The Rams' three other players away on duty - Mile Sterjovski of Australia, Latvia's Andrejs Pereplotkins and Welshman Lewis Price - should all be available to manager Paul Jewell.

International clearance has finally been granted for Serbian striker Aleksandr Prijovic, who has completed his 48-hour national service term and should train with his team-mates on Friday.

Jewell must decide between Nathan Ellington, Rob Hulse and Emanuel Villa in attack as his side try to add to their solitary goal from four Championship matches.

Paul Connolly will retain his place at right-back after Tyrone Mears went on a season-long loan to Marseille. Lewin Nyatanga (cartilage) has returned to training but he and Australian international Ruben Zadkovich (groin) remain out.

Sheffield United pair Keith Gillespie and Matthew Spring face late fitness tests. Winger Gillespie, yet to appear for the Blades this season, was man of the match in Northern Ireland's impressive goalless draw with the Czech Republic in midweek and was hoping to feature for the Blades at Pride Park.

But the 33-year-old took a knock on his ankle and is a slight doubt. Fellow midfielder Spring is also struggling with an ankle problem sustained in training.

Manager Kevin Blackwell will check on the fitness of Gary Naysmith and David Carney, who have returned from international duty with Scotland and Australia respectively.

But David Cotterill will be included in the squad as he was an unused substitute for Wales in Russia.

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Topics:
Tyrone Mears
David Carney
Rob Hulse
Football
Nathan Ellington
Mile Sterjovski
Kris Commons
Championship
Lewis Price
David Carney
Derby County
Keith Gillespie
Paul Connolly
Nottingham Forest
Matthew Spring
Sheffield United
Emanuel Villa
Andrejs Pereplotkins
Gary Naysmith
David Cotterill
Lewin Nyatanga
Keith Gillespie

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