The Rams face tough opposition in a Forest side significantly superior to them for the first time in a decade. Billy Davies’ high-fliers can go top of the table with a three goal winning margin against Nigel Clough’s Rams, but Derby will be looking to achieve a better result having suffered a defeat to Plymouth during the week.
The previous clash between the sides saw The Reds emerge 3-2 winners and ugly scenes marred their win. It would be nice to see a similar passion on the pitch with controlled but strong tackles in a derby fixture which so often delivers classic matches.
Derby skipper Robbie Savage has revealed the extent to which the defea at The Ciy Ground earlier in the season upset the squad: ‘We were absolutely heartbroken – I’ve never seen a dressing room like it,’ said Savage. ‘I remember the gaffer (Nigel Clough) saying that when we played Forest next time, we should take that feeling into the game. I’ll be reminding the lads of that before kick-off. We’ve got to take the feeling with us.’
Billy Davies has been spouting his usual rubbish before the hotly anticipated Derby clash, insisting that the game is a normal one and it is only the three points: ‘People can make as much of Saturday’s game as they like – for me its three points and nothing more. I have been reminded that the last manager who said that (Joe Kinnear) left the club soon afterwards. But I’m sorry, that’s the way I feel about it. It’s three points and no matter what happens, that’s all it will be for whichever club comes out on top.’
It is appropriate to point out that Billy also said this before the game at The City Ground which Forest won. After that fixture Billy had a change of heart and the win was actually ‘much more than three points.’
Derby County Team News:
Steve Davies is struggling with a hamstring injury and may miss out. If that is the case, Kris Commons would be a good bet to return to the side against his old club. Jay McEvely should continue at left back as Dean Moxey is still ill.
Player to watch: Rob Hulse
Hulse looked sharp against The Pilgrims on Tuesday night and was unlucky not to score. He seems to notch frequently against Forest.
Nottingham Forest Team News:
Forest’s only injury worry is Wes Morgan, the large central-defender. He hasn’t missed a game this season but may be forced to sit out on Saturday. James Perch will be at left back after Nicky Shorey returned to Aston Villa at the conclusion of his loan deal.
Player to watch: Rob Earnshaw
He will probably score because he does so very often and he did so little for us.
Match Facts & Stats
Last 5: Derby County
Plymouth Argyle (a) 0-1
Doncaster Rovers (h) 1-0
Peterborough United (a) 3-0
Millwall (h) 1-1 (Derby win 5-3 on penalties)
Scunthorpe United (h) 1-4
Last 5: Nottingham Forest
QPR (h) 5-0
Reading (h) 2-1
Birmingham City (a) 0-1
West Brom (a) 3-1
Birmingham City (h) 0-0
Sheffield United vs. Derby County, Saturday 6 February 2010 15:00, The Coca-Cola Football League Championship