It’s that time of year again for the first East Midlands derby of the season as the Reds and Rams go head to head. Two big clubs in the Championship, both with proud histories behind them and when Forest and Derby meet it is always a feisty affair. But what would a combined XI, of current Nottingham Forest and Derby players, look like? And…which would have more included?
GK- Scott Carson (Derby)
Perhaps a weak point in both sides but Scott Carson for me is the easy choice in between the sticks. The former England international definitely brings a wealth of experience to Gary Rowett’s side and has perhaps had some unfair criticism in his time at the Pride Park. Young Jordan Smith for Forest I will say looks a prospect though.
LB- Marcus Olsson (Derby)
Derby have two very good left-backs in Olsson and also Craig Forsyth, both of whom I potentially would put above Traoré of Forest. Olsson has that attacking edge which provides a lot of Derby. He’s a good experienced player for Forest, Traoré but I don’t believe he offers what Olsson can for Derby.
CB- Curtis Davies (Derby)
No brainer this one. He has a great deal of experience not only at this level but in the Premier League as well and is was a very good snatch for Derby for a player that many thought might have stayed in the Premier League when he was relegated with Hull. His partnership with Richard Keogh seems a fairly solid one and will always be a tough wall to break down.
CB- Matt Mills (Forest)
The first of the Forest players to make the side. Some may argue this one is being kind on Forest but I would say Matt Mills would just get the nod ahead of Rams’ Richard Keogh. I don’t think Keogh is all that consistent and Matt Mills is generally a good performer in a struggling Forest side. Mills is an old fashioned type of centre-back who has a zest for the physical style of play.
RB- Andre Wisdom (Derby)
Wisdom is a lad who has gone under the radar for a number of years with his best spell coming four years ago in his last time at Derby. Now a permanent player, Wisdom has really found his form again under Gary Rowett and despite originating as a centre-back, Wisdom offers a good balance of play both going forward and defensively.
CM- Liam Bridcutt (Forest)
The former Leeds United captain was a very good coup for Forest I think, a player that may not offer anything in terms of an attacking threat, but will give a fantastic balance when it comes to defensive ability. Bridcutt has good experience at this level and was twice Brighton’s player of the year when they fought for promotion. The Scotland international has made a solid start to life at Forest and I believe he comfortably warrants a place in this team.
CM- Tom Huddleston (Derby)
There is no questioning Huddleston’s CV, he’s played for some great clubs and has a lot of appearances in the Premier League. It was probably time for him to make the step down in to the Championship and has certainly been a great buy for Rowett. He is known for his range of passing ability and his fearsome shot power which leads to him scoring many long range shots.
CM- Bradley Johnson (Derby)
Derby’s Bradley Johnson completes the Midfield. He is someone who, again, has a great deal of Premier League action to his name and has proved he can do it at Championship level on many occasions most notably when he won promotion with Norwich during the 14-15 season scoring 15 goals in the process.
LW- Barrie McKay (Forest)
Don’t worry Forest fans I haven’t forgotten you! McKay has had a nice start to his campaign in the Championship with two goals this season as well. On his day he can cause any defence in this league problems with his fast change of pace and agility. He just gets the nod over Tom Lawrence who I think has been just behind McKay in terms of his start to the season but also a brilliant player.
ST- Daryl Murphy (Forest)
If we are going by their performances this season it is a no brainer to have Forest’s Daryl Murphy as the main man up top with an impressive six goals in eleven appearances so far this season. Not only that, Murphy has been there doing it at this level for a long time and has scored a lot of goals at it.
RW- Johnny Russell (Derby)
Rusell is the man to finish of the team. I don’t think either team jumps off the scales in this position but Russell I believe is better than what Forest offer. The former Dundee United man joined Derby in 2013 and after a tough couple of years at Pride Park the Scot seems to be back to his best and offers a lot of pace going forward and will trouble any defence on his day.
Total players: Forest (4) Derby (7)