Burley hoping injured trio will be available for Walsall test

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The Independent Online

Derby County and Watford each have the chance to put miserable starts to the season behind them as they go head-to-head at Pride Park tonight.

Both teams are chasing second successive victories after finally breaking their win-less start to their First Division campaign on Saturday.

Derby, who lost four and drew one of their first five games, secured their first win by beating Walsall 1-0 while Watford, who also boasted just one point from their opening four matches, overcame Millwall 3-1.

If Derby were to fall tonight, they would equal an unwanted club record of five consecutive home defeats.

George Burley, the Derby manager, is hoping that a trio of injured players will all pull through in time to feature. Michael Johnson (calf), Luciano Zavagno (dead leg) and Paul Boertien (back) all suffered knocks in the win at Bescot.

"Michael is having a bit of treatment but is not a problem," Burley said. "Luciano and Paul both missed training yesterday but have still got a chance of being ready for the game."

Watford have the midfielder Neal Ardley back in contention following suspension. Ardley was sent off for the first time in his career against Gillingham and missed the win over the Lions.

Heidar Helguson is out for at least two months with a knee ligament injury, and Micah Hyde is doubtful with a hamstring problem. But the striker Danny Webber is expected to be fit despite being stamped on by Millwall's Kevin Muscat at the weekend.

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