Derby County news: Sky Sports pundit delivers verdict ahead of Barnsley clash

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After suffering back-to-back defeat in the Championship to Cardiff City and Coventry City, Derby County will be determined to return to winning ways tomorrow when they face Barnsley at Oakwell.

The Rams, who are currently 19th in the second-tier standings, will extend the gap between them and fellow strugglers Rotherham United to nine points by beating an in-form Tykes side who are thriving under the guidance of manager Valerien Ismael.

Whilst Derby are set to be without Tom Lawrence and David Marshall for this particular fixture, the likes of Lee Gregory, Louie Sibley and George Edmundson will all be pushing for a place in the club's starting eleven.

Given that Barnsley have won seven league games on the bounce, Rams manager Wayne Rooney will need his players to be at their very best if they are to halt this particular run on Wednesday.

Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the fixture, pundit David Prutton has predicted that Derby will succumb to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Tykes.

The 39-year-old said: "Along with a handful of others, Derby are still in the relegation battle and have picked up just a point in their last three games - their longest stretch without a win since Phillip Cocu's departure in November.

"Barnsley will be so tough to beat and so I think it could be a third straight defeat for the Rams."

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When you consider that Derby have won just five games away from home in the Championship this season, they could be in for a tough evening against a Barnsley side who are pushing for a top-six finish.

Although the Rams' current run of form has been poor, a positive result at Oakwell would provide some much-needed momentum heading into the closing stages of the current campaign.

By keeping it tight tomorrow night, Derby may be able to frustrate Barnsley and potentially capitalise in the second-half by going all out for victory.

Providing that they do indeed produce a promising display on their travels, the Rams will put some much-needed distance in terms of points and places between them and the relegation zone.

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