While the Rams claimed 10th spot last season after a slow start, Reading also built some momentum during the middle part of the campaign to finish in 14th position.
After nothing more than a solid first season in English football, Derby head coach Philip Cocu will be aware that he can ill-afford a poor beginning to the new campaign.
With Cocu unlikely to receive a large portion of the £15m which has been generated from those sales, he must continue to assess his options in the market with his Rams squad looking slightly thin on the ground.
That became further evident as Derby struggled against EFL newcomers Barrow in the EFL Cup last weekend, eventually requiring penalties to progress into the next round.
While there is still time for several fresh faces to arrive in the East Midlands, extra reliance will be put on key man Wayne Rooney over the coming weeks and months.
The move from the Royals hierarchy has understandably divided opinion, especially on the back of Bowen having done brilliantly to ensure that the club did not encounter a relegation battle during the second half of last season.
Although there has been minimal movement in the transfer market with regards to incomings, securing Ovie Ejaria's signature on a permanent basis is viewed as an important piece of business.
However, given the financial outlay on George Puscas last summer, Reading need the Romania star to improve on his 14 goals from 42 outings since his arrival.
Derby County form (all competitions): D
Reading form (all competitions): W
Rooney will be brought straight back into the Derby starting lineup after missing last week's EFL Cup fixture.
Andre Wisdom will likely move out to the right-hand side of defence to take the spot of Bogle.
As for Reading, Josh Laurent is expected to make his Championship debut after signing from Shrewsbury Town.
However, Ejaria is short of match fitness, something which could lead to the former Liverpool man beginning the game among the replacements.
Derby County possible starting lineup:
Marshall; Wisdom, Clarke, Wierik, Forsyth; Rooney, Bird; Holmes, Sibley, Knight; Waghorn
Reading possible starting lineup:
Cabral; Yiadom, Morrison, McIntyre, Richards; Laurent, Rinomhota; Meite, Swift, Olise; Joao
We say: Derby County 1-1 Reading
With key players having departed Derby, Cocu may be content with simply avoiding defeat at the weekend. However, Reading may adopt a similar approach, and we do not expect many fireworks at either end.