Derby County vs Nottingham Forest: Why it means so much
DERBY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 11: Damien Perquis of Nottingham Forest and Darren Bent of Derby County clash during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Nottingham Forest at iPro Stadium on December 11, 2016 in Derby, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

This Saturday at 12:30 BST, Derby County meet Nottingham Forest once again, in what is the 133rd rendition of the 'East Midlands Derby'.

Despite being early in the season, the two sides already have a lot riding on this game. Forest, who currently sit bottom of the league, are still looking for their first win of the Sky Bet Championship campaign and would love to do it against their old foe.

As for Derby, this is a game all about statements and a win this weekend would be a big one considering the troubles the squad has been going through over recent months.  

But what makes this game so important and why is it one of the staple games of English football?

  • Bragging rights

Well, the first reason is obvious but amplified more this season. The two sides have met 133 times, 25 of those minor competitions, and both clubs have 49 wins in the fixture. 

The extra incentive to be the first to reach 50 wins could be crucial and provide the match with an extra edge.

For Derby, winning would see them keep Forest bottom of the table with five losses from five league games. It would give Wayne Rooney a massive boost with the fans. His off the pitch controversies haven't helped his image but beating Forest and keep a solid run of form going would certainly keep this season's good start going.

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Chris Hughton on the other hand has only beaten three times in his 12 battles with the Rams. He is yet to beat them with Forest either as both battles last season ended in a 1-1 draw. 

  • Regional success 

Through the years the East Midlands has had it's fair share of success, most recently Leicester City winning the Premier League. However, in recent history the area could be considered to have fallen behind with both these sides getting too comfortable in the Championship.

Despite this, one thing always gives the region an added edge when it comes to football and that's the derby. 

The two clubs are steeped in history and outside of football's three main regions, could be considered the most successful.

London, Birmingham and the North West are widely known as the three biggest hubs of football, with the East Midlands, and the North East closely following.

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However, what gives this rivalry an edge is the region. It's not just about being the best in your city, as the two clubs already are. It's about a battle between the two city's and that adds a level that certain London or Birmingham rivalries don't have. 

  • Managers thoughts

Speaking ahead of the game, Rooney told RamsTV“I think it’s a match where the pressure is on Nottingham Forest to win. On us, we are going to try and take the game to them.

“We want to win the game and if we do then I think we can say that we have had a great start to the season.

“It will leave Forest on zero points so we will be doing everything we can to win.

“It will be nice if we do that because the lads will have a few days off and I’m sure they will enjoy that during the international break.”

Whilst Rooney was talking positively about the game, Hughton's comments had the air of desperation amid speculation around his job.

The 62-year-old told the BBC: "I am fully aware of the reactions and the feelings of the supporters," Hughton told BBC Radio Nottingham.

"It's my responsibility to put on a brave face, a positive face that says the next game is the opportunity to turn it around.

"In the game, you will always have ups and downs, sometimes more difficult than others, and I'm not used to being a manager that has lost four on the spin."

The stark contrast in comments shows how important this game is for the two sides for different reasons.