March has not been overly kind to Huddersfield Town, but points remain the aim of the game with players and fans desperate to finish as high up the table as possible.

A trip to Derby is first on the agenda to kick off a tough run of games that will define where Town are in the table come May.

Here are three key duels to influence the result at the iPro.

Dean Whitehead v Jacob Butterfield

Video thumbnail, Wagner on Hogg's injury
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The absent Jonathan Hogg is likely to dominate the pre-match talking points, with the loss of the influential midfielder likely to give David Wagner more than one or two headaches.

All eyes on Dean Whitehead then.

The summer signing was in fantastic form before his injury in December, but has struggled to win back a starting spot since his return.

Philip Billing is suspended and Emyr Huws injured, so he is likely to be paired alongside a more attacking player in Jamie Paterson, or one inexperienced (Duane Holmes).

His main job will be to keep Jacob Butterfield quiet. Eight goals already this term in a Derby County shirt, Butterfield’s talents are all too familiar to Town fans who were gutted to see him sold.

His most recent strike was the winner against Blackburn just ten days’ ago and it will be up to Whitehead to ensure he doesn’t get the same opportunity against Town.

READ MORE: Scouting Report: Derby County in uncertain form but bolstered by formidable defence

READ MORE: Derby County v Huddersfield Town: David Wagner's press conference as it happened

Mark Hudson v Chris Martin

DERBY, ENGLAND - JANUARY 03: Chris Martin of Derby celebrates after scoring the winning goal from the penalty spot during the FA Cup Third Round match between Derby County and Southport FC at iPro Stadium on January 3, 2015 in Derby, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Derby’s biggest creative threat comes in the form of Chris Martin, who spearheads Darren Wassall’s front three and has struck 11 times so far this season.

Top scorer for the Rams, he’s also top provider with six assists in his 33 appearances. Bolstered by the support of Tom Ince and George Thorne, together with Butterfield, stopping him from threatening Jed Steer will be essential if Town are to emerge with a result.

The bad news for Town is that he is regaining form - he has scored twice in his last three games, which is as many as he did in the previous 19 games combined.

In the absence of the injured Joel Lynch, Mark Hudson will be charged with shackling the striker while adapting to a new partnership with Martin Cranie.

The defence has looked much more assured when both Lynch and Hudson are at the centre, but it is the skipper's leadership and organisation that are badly missed when he is out. Those qualities will be vital if he is to snuff out the threat of Derby's leading man and marshal his troops to victory.

He might also have one eye on the opposition penalty area - Hudson scored twice in two games against Derby last year so would relish adding to his tally.

Joe Lolley v Cyrus Christie

DERBY, ENGLAND - JANUARY 29: Cyrus Christie of Derby County and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson of Manchester United battle for the ball during the Emirates FA Cup fourth round match between Derby County and Manchester United at iPro Stadium on January 29, 2016 in Derby, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

The one area of his squad where David Wagner is blessed with multiple available talents is attack - with up to six players believing they have a claim for one of the three creative slots behind Nahki Wells.

However, one face who should look a little fresher than the rest is Joe Lolley, who was absent last weekend and will be chomping at the bit to get back.

The 23-year-old is a changed man under David Wagner, and now fit enough to last the 90 minutes his confidence is soaring, although he will be desperate to repay his manager’s faith by adding to his three goals.

Up against him will be Cyrus Christie, one of the pieces of Derby’s rock solid defensive puzzle. But as well as helping the Rams to their enviable record at the back - 15 clean sheets in the league this season - he provides a valuable attacking outlet that David Wagner will want to see muzzled.

Two assists and a goal is a decent return for any full back, and with his eye for a key pass - as well as proficiency in the dribble and the cross, Joe Lolley’s dual role on the left will be key to David Wagner’s hopes of reversing a poor historical trend at the home of the Rams.