The Rams have made a relatively disappointing start to the campaign, finding themselves in ninth place with 13 points from their opening eight outings.
For a side that was agonisingly close to being promoted via the playoffs last season, more was expected of Steve McClaren's men in the early stages of this campaign, but they are yet to really get going.
That being said, they have still only been beaten once so far this season, while also managing to take points off top-six rivals Nottingham Forest, Ipswich Town, Blackburn Rovers and Cardiff City in their last four outings.
Their unbeaten run in all competitions now stretches to seven matches, the most recent of which saw them progress into the fourth round of the League Cup with a 2-0 victory over Reading.
Liverpool loanee Jordan Ibe made his first start for the club in that match, and he could be retained in the XI this weekend having come off the bench to score last Saturday.
While Derby have only been beaten once this season, Bolton find themselves languishing just above the relegation zone having only picked up a solitary victory in their opening eight games.
That win came in their last home outing as they beat Rotherham United 3-2, but in general they have failed to replicate the sort of form that saw them hold leaders Nottingham Forest to a draw last month.
Even so, the Scot knows that he needs victories in the league sooner rather than later if he is to avoid another relegation scare and stave off speculation over his future.
New loanee signing Chris Herd could play some part this weekend, although he may not feature from the start having played the full 90 minutes in midweek.
Possible starting lineups
Bolton: Lonergan; Ream, Mills, Dervite, Moxey; Garvan, Spearing, Feeney, Mason, Lee; Davies
Derby: Grant; Christie, Keogh, Whitbread, Forsyth; Bryson, Eustace, Hughes; Ward, Martin, Ibe
Sports Mole says: 1-3