Championship: Nottingham Forest v Derby County match preview

A look ahead to this weekend's Championship fixture at the City Ground

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The Independent Football

Nottingham Forest fans are likely to still be in a state of shock following the last East Midlands derby. Derby romped to a 5-0 win at the iPro, a fact that becomes apparent on visiting the ground – shirts donning “NFFC 5-0” emblazoned across the megastore.

Derby fans must acknowledge though that a similar result is highly unlikely, this Forest team is much improved on the one that Derby inflicted the recorded equalling derby day win over last season. Stuart Pearce’s side sit top of the league and with a host of high quality summer signings are looking good for promotion.  Michel Antonio and record signing Britt Assombalonga, signed from Sheffield Wednesday and Peterborough respectively, have hit the ground running, each contributing four goals to the cause thus far.

Derby meanwhile have had an average start, perhaps below what was expected following the last minute loss to QPR in the playoff final last May. The Rams are yet to fully click into gear, but gave glimpses of what they are capable of in a 5-1 thrashing of Fulham last month. News that striker Chris Martin has signed a new contract will be a lift to everyone at the club, and they will need the likes of Martin and Craig Bryson to be on form if they are to triumph at the City Ground.

The winners of this fixture are presented with the Brian Clough Trophy, after the late manager of both the sides, but three points, not to mention local bragging rights, will be seen as a more important prize. Forest can cement their place at the top of the league with a win, while three points for Derby might send them into the playoffs.

KICK-OFF: Sunday, 1.15pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

Derby County 5 (Bryson 3, Hendrick, Russell) Nottingham Forest 0, Championship, March 2014

Nottingham Forest 1 (Hobbs) Derby County 0, Championship, September 2013

Derby County 1 (Ward) Nottingham Forest 1 (Cohen), Championship, January 2013

STATS…

Nottingham Forest have won this fixture three more times than Derby, winning 37 of the games between the two sides.

Derby have won four of the last six East Midlands Derbies.

After scoring a hat-trick in the last game, Derby’s Craig Bryson became the first player in the fixture to do so since 1898

Forest have scored an average of just under two (1.91) goals per game against Derby at home. 

ODDS…

Nottingham Forest to win:  2.54

Derby County to win: 3.2

Draw: 3.5

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at 1:15pm.

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