While the Rams head into the clash at Pride Park cut adrift at the bottom of the table, Wayne Rooney's side have recently collected four points off the top two teams in the division.
On the back of a potentially-significant points deduction, a double-header of Bournemouth and Fulham in the space of three days could not have looked any more daunting to Derby.
However, despite the odds being stacked against them both on and off the pitch, the Rams came from behind to defeat Bournemouth before recording a superb goalless draw at free-scoring Fulham.
Rooney was understandably proud of his team's efforts, particularly at Craven Cottage, but the England legend knows that the work must continue if they are to give themselves any chance of the most miraculous survival in the second tier.
The gap now stands at 16 points, helped by Reading being docked points of their own, and regardless of the size of the task in front of them on Monday, Rooney will demand another three points.
Derby have now suffered just two defeats in 10 games, both by 2-1 scorelines, and confidence will be high as they play host to one of the form teams in the division.
After a run of five defeats in eight games, QPR could have remained in the mid-table spots, but Mark Warburton's team have been excellent either side of the international break.
While the goals have started to dry up to a certain degree, collecting 11 points from five games proved enough to move the Hoops into fourth position ahead of the next batch of fixtures.
Automatic promotion will not be on Warburton's mind right now, the QPR boss possessing the sole priority of establishing some breathing space in the top six.
Nevertheless, if they can continue to extend their current undefeated streak, there is a window of opportunity to move into third, keeping the pressure on faltering Bournemouth.
Despite scoring just eight goals in seven outings, QPR will be proud of conceding just once in four games, that strike against Blackpool coming from the penalty spot.
Rooney must decide whether to hand a recall to Colin Kazim-Richards, who started the goalless draw at Fulham on the substitutes' bench.
Luke Amos is pushing for a start in the QPR side after netting the decisive goal against Huddersfield Town last time out.
That would likely prove to be the only change to the team, with Lyndon Dykes only being selected among the replacements if he shakes off the injury which has sidelined him for recent matches.
Derby County possible starting lineup:
Roos; Byrne, Davies, Jagielka, Forsyth; Shinnie, Thompson, Bird; Knight, Kazim-Richards, Lawrence
Queens Park Rangers possible starting lineup:
Dieng; Dickie, Dunne, Barbet; Adomah, Amos, Johansen, Wallace; Chair, Willock; Austin
We say: Derby County 1-1 Queens Park Rangers
While Derby have been effective in avoiding defeat this season, they have reached a point where only wins will do. That may prove difficult against a team of QPR's quality going forward, leading us to predict a share of the spoils in the East Midlands.
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