Bougherra missed the Manchester City FA Cup game on Sunday because of suspension and usually he would walk back in to the side.
But after Graham Coughlan's assured performance at the heart of defence against City and transfer speculation perhaps on the mind of the Algerian international, the Irishman may get the nod.
Rumours in the papers today said that Reading were about to bid £3million for Bougherra and if those are true, the visit to Pride Park could be the player's last appearance in a Wednesday shirt.
Richard Wood and John Hills both came through a reserve match unscathed this week and could feature in the squad although it is very doubtful they will make it further than the bench.
Derby will give debuts to new signings Stephen Pearson, Gary Teale and Craig Fagan who have signed big-money moves from Celtic, Wigan and Hull respectively.