Derby County vs Nottingham Forest Preview: Who will win the latest East Midlands Derby?

Derby County vs Nottingham Forest Preview: Who will win the latest East Midlands Derby?

Nottingham Forest take on Derby County at the iPro Stadium on Sunday afternoon as they look to gain a fourth consecutive Championship victory.

Sam Straw

Nottingham Forest will be looking to continue their climb up the Championship league table on Sunday afternoon whilst Derby County will want to continue their good run of form under returning manager Steve McClaren.

How they’ve fared so far

Forest currently find themselves sat 14th in the league table courtesy of an upturn in form under manager Philippe Montanier. This leaves them six points clear of the relegation zone and five off the play-offs.

Their revival started a couple of weeks ago against Ipswich Town at Portman Road as they won 2-0 courtesy of two goals from returning striker Britt Assombalonga. This was followed up with a 5-2 win away at Barnsley, an impressive result considering Barnsley’s 3-0 win away at Birmingham this weekend. Forest secured their third consecutive victory on Friday night in a 2-1 win against nine man Newcastle in an action packed game.

Sunday’s game against Derby away will provide a different type of challenge in a game where anything can happen. Derby have a squad full of quality themselves and are in a great run of form under returning manager Steve McClaren.

They find themselves sat 8th in the league table just a point off Norwich who sit in the final play-off place. Wins against Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday, Wolves, Rotherham, Norwich and most recently Wigan have seen the Rams storm up the table.

Both sets of supporters will be looking forward to the highly anticipated clash and it is highly unusual for both teams to be going into the match on the back of a good run of form.

Last time they met

Forest last played Derby in the 1-0 defeat at the iPro Stadium back in March this year. It was a game of very few chances but Marcus Olsson’s late goal settled the match as Forest continued life after Dougie Freedman.

Forest’s last win against Derby came back in November 2015, the last time Derby visited the City Ground, as Nelson Oliveira’s early strike was enough to give the Reds all three points.

Team news

Derby are likely to field a similar line-up to the one which secured a 1-0 win away at Wigan Athletic at the weekend. This line-up is likely to include the likes of Scott Carson, Richard Keogh, Marcus Olsson who got the winning goal when these two teams met back in March, Will Hughes, Bradley Johnson, Jacob Butterfield, Tom Ince, Matej Vydra and more. The Rams have a host of attacking options which will give the Forest defence plenty to think about.

Steve McClaren is also hoping to welcome back Darren Bent, Max Lowe and Ikechi Anya as they all missed the last game but will be hoping they can play some part in this huge derby match. 

As for Forest, Montanier may bring Joe Worrall back into the starting line-up after he missed the Newcastle game with concussion. Hildeberto Pereira is also back and available after missing the last three games through suspension.

This could see Forest line-up with Stojkovic in goal, a back three of Worrall, Perquis and Mills with Mancienne and Lichaj as wing backs and Lam sitting in front of the defence. Kasami and Lansbury are likely to retain their place in midfield and Ben Osborn is likely to play the number 10 role again.

Montanier has a key decision to make in regards to who starts upfront with Assombalonga, Bendtner and Vellios all now fit. Assombalonga will be the one many Forest fans will want to see start due to his quality but Bendtner and Vellios have also both been scoring goals of late.