Championship betting preview: It could be curtains for Steve Cotterill

 

Nigel Clough and Steve Cotterill both go into Sunday's East Midlands derby at Pride Park on the back of poor results but their problems on a wider scale are worlds apart and we reckon the former might well hammer the final nail in the latter's Nottingham Forest coffin with a convincing win.

Derby were given a timely kick up the backside with their first-half horror show at Barnsley in midweek as they found themselves 3-0 down inside half-an-hour before restoring some pride by pulling it back to 3-2 but that false start at Oakwell, combined with Clough's resulting anger, should only serve to reassure us that they will be fully switched on from the first whistle here.

Putting that to one side, the Rams remain a team in good form. They've won four on the spin at home and the first choice back five that has otherwise performed so well since Boxing Day should be trusted to put up a solid rearguard action against a team that has failed to score in nine of the last 11 matches.

And that's the crux of the argument here because Forest's inability to create chances and score goals is at the root of all their problems, so an early goal for Derby could trigger a painfully long afternoon and a margin that will only widen if Clough's men grow in confidence and fancy making it a day to savour for years to come. As such, we like the look of the 7/2 about Derby (-1) on the handicap with Paddy Power.

Of course, this is all working to the assumption that Forest will fail to show the fight that is normally taken for granted in most derby games but the current state of affairs at the City Ground can only create a demoralised camp and the reasons why the players might revolt are mounting.

Cotterill has done well to instil trademark discipline on the road but Forest have put everything behind the ball in their last six away games and only managed one clean sheet. If the departure of Wes Morgan triggers a loss of purpose behind that game plan, then you fear for Cotterill and how this game might affect his position less than four months into the job because things could get very messy indeed.

Leicester took great delight in smashing four goals past the Reds in an FA Cup replay the week before last, prompting chants of 'We want our Billy back' from the visiting fans - in reference to former boss Billy Davies - and now Derby would marvel in doing something similar in front the BBC cameras.

Intriguingly, Davies has openly talked about taking the job if it was offered to him, calling it "unfinished business" on the Midlands edition of Late Kick Off last week and it's worth remembering that most of the players who will take to the field for the visitors at Pride Park on Sunday will be those who thrived most when under the guidance of the Glaswegian.

Recommended bets:

2pts Derby to beat Nottingham Forest at 13/10 (BetVictor)

1pt Derby (-1) to win on the handicap at 7/2 (Paddy Power)

For more betting news and views, please visit Bestofthebets.com. You can also follow Mike Holden on Twitter: @Miguel_BOTB

News
people
News
John Rees-Evans is standing for Ukip in Cardiff South and Penarth
news
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
Sport
David Silva, Andy Carroll, Arsene Wenger and Radamel Falcao
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'