Dave Jones will be without Mark Hudson for the clash, leaving the Cardiff boss with a defensive decision to make.
Influential centre-back Hudson has been ruled out for between four to six weeks due to a tear in his knee ligaments sustained in the 3-3 draw at Millwall, City's last game prior to the international break.
Jones could now either hand a debut to loan deadline-day signing Jlloyd Samuel at left-back and move regular full-back Kevin McNaughton into the heart of defence alongside Dekel Keinan, or just put Hungarian Gabor Gyepes next to the Israeli centre-back.
Striker Jay Bothroyd and right-back Paul Quinn are both fit despite also sustaining worrying muscle strains against the Lions.
On-loan goalkeeper Stephen Bywater is ineligible to face his parent club, meaning fellow loanee Jason Brown and fit-again Tom Heaton (groin) will compete for the number one jersey.
But Jones is only allowed to select five of his seven loanees in any matchday squad, meaning Bywater will likely be joined in the stands by Jason Koumas. Long-term absentees Michael Chopra (hamstring) and David Marshall (elbow) are both ruled out.
Derby will monitor Tomasz Cywka ahead of the trip.
The Polish forward played and scored for the reserves in midweek after a month out with a knee ligament injury.
Manager Nigel Clough hopes Cywka will be available in the Welsh capital but insists he will also ensure the former Wigan player is not rushed back too soon.
"Tomasz came through the majority of the reserve game on Tuesday but he isn't 100% just yet, so we will assess him on Friday," said Clough. "He has a good 75-80 minutes under his belt but we have to remember he has been out for a few weeks."
Russell Anderson could also come back into the reckoning after missing most of the season with groin and hamstring injuries. The defender has completed two 90-minutes run-outs for the reserves during the international break.
New loan signing Brad Jones is in line for his debut following his arrival from Liverpool, with Frank Fielding and Matt Duke having returned to Blackburn and Hull respectively.