Nottingham Forest (H)
So here it is, the game we've all been waiting four years for and who could've imagined Derby would go into it as such big favourites after the first three months of the season. At the end of August Derby where yet to win and despite a 5-1 defeat away to Wolves, Nottingham Forest looked as though they had adapted well to the their new surroundings. From that point on things have changed, Derby beat Sheffield United 2-1 and haven't looked back whilst Forest had not won a single game until Tuesday night to list themselves from the foot of the table.
After a superb display of attacking football on Tuesday night against Norwich City, bar a nervous ten minutes, it looks as though The Rams are starting to produce some of the form promised in spells in earlier matches. On paper Derby certainly have the players to win matches consistently at this level and with one defeat in ten they are certainly a lot harder to beat than in the opening weeks of the season.
Dean Leacock and Nacer Barazite may return from injury in this one although both may have to settle for a place on the bench if not fully fit and the form of Lewin Nyatanga in recent weeks. Kris Commons has been in fine form since his return and will be relishing the chance to put one over on Colin Calderwood and increase the pressure on the Forest manager after their recent run of form.
Things certainly aren't looking too good down the A52, Andy Cole has had his contract cancelled this week and before the shock win at Selhurst Park on Tuesday without a league win since August 23rd against Watford and currently sitting six points from safety. It all started well with a draw against Reading live on Sky and some good early form from former Ram Rob Earnshaw but things have gone sour since then with the step up to The Championship proving a tough one over the last two months.
The Sky camera's will be at Pride Park for this clash, no doubt with Gary Birtles as summariser. If you're wa
"In these kind of games, it doesn`t matter where you are in the table. Everyone gives 100 per cent."
Martin Albrechtsen talking to the Derby Evening Telegraph about league position not mattering in local derbies
Derby County Team News:
Martin Albrechtsen set to continue after suffering on ill-effects from his midweek comeback, Dean Leacock and Nacer Barazite may return after missing recent matches.
Player to watch: Kris Commons
Up against his former team and currently in his best form since joining in the summer. Showed against Norwich the kind of performance that lead to Jewell bringing him Pride Park, setting up Hulse and going past his fullback almost at will and firing in numerous dangerous crosses. What price on him to score the winner?
Nottingham Forest Team News:
Guy Moussi and Julian Bennett miss out through injury whilst Paul Anderson, Kevin Wilson and Carl Fletcher all return to the squad.
Player to watch: Rob Earnshaw
Predictable but, despite what has been said in the press, he has a point to prove to Derby County and Paul Jewell after his disappearance from the side last season. On his day he's a quality finisher but he can't do it by himself and he'll need some help from a badly misfiring team so far this season.
Match Facts & Stats
Norwich City (A) 2-1 Hulse, Ellington
Plymouth Argyle (H) 2-1 Hulse, Duguid (og)
Blackpool (A) 2-3 Commons, Sterjovski
Coventry City (A) 1-1 Hulse
Norwich City (H) 3-1 Green, Hulse, Kazmierczak
Crystal Palace (H) 0-2
Queens Park Rangers (A) 1-2 McGugan
Ipswich Town (H) 1-1 McCleary
Cardiff City (H) 0-1
Crystal Palace (A) 2-1 Cohen, Thornhill
Any other match against a team with one win in eleven and only two league victories all season would be approached with a great sense of optimism and a perceived guaranatee of three points but against our local rivals that kind of form doesn't always have an effect on the outcome of the game. Not that Derby won't fancy there chances here, with the current run of form and the performance against Norwcih The Rams go into this game as clear favourites and the blossoming partnership between Hulse and Ellington and the on fire Commons will prove to much for his former employers, 2-0 Derby.
4th Nov v Brighton and Hove Albion (Carling Cup) Withdean Stadium