Nottingham Forest kick off the weekend’s Sky Bet Championship action as they welcome Derby to the City Ground in a blockbuster East Midlands derby on Friday Night Football.
Victory would take Forest up to 16th ahead of the weekend’s games whilst Derby will climb out of the relegation zone and above their hosts to 19th position with a win.
Anthony Knockaert could be in line for a Forest debut after missing out on a spot in each of last two team sheets, having joined on loan from Fulham on deadline day.
Fouad Bachirou and Joe Worrall remain absent with respective hamstring and foot injuries.
Derby could hand striker, Martyn Waghorn a first start of the season after featuring from the bench in Tuesday’s defeat at Huddersfield.
Louie Sibley (hamstring) is also in contention to feature but Jordan Ibe (fitness) and Krystian Bielik (knee) won’t feature for the first-team as they prepare to step up their recoveries with an U23s game.
- Forest are unbeaten in their last six matches against Derby in all competitions (W3, D3).
- Derby are winless in last eight trips to Forest (D3, L5), plus have failed to score during all five defeats in that period.
- Only one of Forest’s three league goals this season has come before half-time.
Forest come into this match after four points from their opening two matches under Chris Houghton’s management, which is a real positive after their poor start although they do need to begin implementing a more attacking approach which we often saw last season if want to improve further.
Derby meanwhile were unlucky to lose in midweek at Huddersfield but clinical finishing seems to be one of if not their biggest issues after losing two of their last three results by a single goal.
This therefore feels like a match which could be tightly fought but Forest do seem to have the edge here in terms of momentum between two teams not pulling their weight.
Prediction: Nottingham Forest 1-0 Derby
Result: Nottingham Forest 1-1 Derby