Preview: Nottingham Forest vs. Derby County
The City Ground
The eagerly anticipated clash between East Midlands rivals Derby and Forest is just around the corner and is sure to be another cracking contest. The last two seasons have seen some sensational clashes between the two sides, but The Rams won the last encounter between the two sides; a 1-0 win at Pride Park in January. Nigel Clough will be hoping for a similarly excellent display.
Nigel Clough has attempted to ease the pressure n his players by insisting his side are not the favourites for the City Ground match: 'We have lost four on the spin. Forest are creeping up the table towards the top six,' said Clough.
'They have an incredible home record which stretches back a long, long way, so it would be nice to put a dent in that.
'If you look at the investment at the two clubs at the moment, I think they (Forest) have spent about £15m net and they have come out and said their wage bill will be over £16m.
'Anybody with that sort of investment in the Championship must be considered as one of the strong favourites for promotion.
'I think this is the strongest squad Forest have had in the last two years.
'We go into the game as huge underdogs at the moment.'
Forest Team News:
Big striker Dele Adebola is a doubt for the derby after suffering a knee injury in the Crystal Palace game over a week ago. Dexter Blackstock and David McGoldrick will both miss out, also with knee injuries.
Player to watch: Chris Cohen
Ex-Yeovil midfielder Cohen has been in excellent form for Forest this season and is one of their most consistent performers.
The Rams Team News:
Captain Robbie Savage will miss out on the game as the suspension which was due to rule him out of the Doncaster Rovers game will be carried over to the City Ground clash following the postponement of the Boxing Day fixture. Stephen Pearson is also doubtful with a knee problem but long-term absentees Steven Davies and Miles Addison could feature on the bench to provide Nigel Clough with a needed boost.
Player to watch: Kris Commons
Commons is in the best form of his career. If he were playing against us, I would be convinced of him getting on the scoresheet.
Match Facts & Stats
Scunthorpe United (h) 3-2
Norwich City (h) 1-2
Bristol City (a) 0-2
Reading (h) 1-2
Coventry City (h) 2-1
Queens Park Rangers (h) 0-0
Cardiff City (a) 2-0
Leicester City (a) 0-1
Crystal Palace (h) 3-0
Preston North End vs. Derby County, Sat 1st January, 15:00pm, The Championship