The race for the play-offs heats up with The East Midland’s Derby between Derby County and Nottingham Forest.
Indeed, in my opinion, there is no bigger Derby match as both sides from the A52 go head to head once again for the prize of three points. For both teams a win will surely cement their place in the play-offs at the end of the season.
Matches between the two sides have produced lots of strange things in the past. Early Goals, Red cards, Manager’s fighting on the touchline etc etc. But this match will be even more strange. As this will be the first time this fixture will take place without fans. But both sides have to get on with it as best as they can. Forest will certainly relish the opportunity of playing without the roarkus Derby home support.
Both sides come into this fixture in good form since the season restarted. Forest have picked up seven points from their three games. Derby, meanwhile, have taken the maximum nine on offer from their three matches.
Forest currently sit in 4th place on 67 points from 40 games, while Derby are lying in 7th on 60 points, one point off the final play-off position that is currently occupied by Cardiff City.
The teams have already met twice this season, once in the League, while the other match took place in the League Cup early in the season. Subsequently, Forest came out on top in both matches.
In the League Cup, Forest won 3-0 thanks to goals from Sammy Ameobi, Joe Lolley and Joao Carvalho. While in the League, Lewis Grabban scored the only goal of the game as he latched on to a shocking mistake in the Derby backline.
As mentioned previously, both sides have good form coming into this game, with Forest beating Bristol City 1-0 in midweek and Derby winning by the same score line at Preston North End. Derby’s form has improved significantly since Wayne Rooney has got into the swing of things which has transformed them from midtable to play off contenders.
Lewis Grabban is Forest leading goal scorer on 19 for the season and will be looking to be the first Forest Player to hit 20 in a season Since David johnson and Marlon Harewood did it in the 02/03 Season.
The final run of games will certainly have a big say on where both clubs will finish. Forest’s Remaining Matches are: Fulham (H), Preston (A), Swansea (H), Barnsley (A) and Stoke (H)
Derby Remaining Matches: West Brom (A), Brentford (H), Cardiff (A), Leeds (H) and Birmingham (A)
One thing is for certain, this game is sure to be a cracker!
Referee for this Match is Darren England
Karl’s prediction: 2-1 Forest win
This Match is Live on Sky Sports and BBC Radio Nottingham from 12 noon KO 12.30