The second cup tie of the week sees the visit of Nottingham Forest and a certain ex-Derby manager who seems to have rewritten history with some of his comments this week. There`s never a lack of interest in these local derbies and there are plenty of talking points in this one, an ex-Forest player in charge of Derby, an ex-Derby manager in charge of Forest and of course the small matter of Kris Commons and Rob Earnshaw lining up against their former clubs. Add to that the controversial decisions by referee Attwell last time out that denied The Rams victory and you have a great backdrop against which to stage this FA Cup 4th Round tie.
After a much improved second half at Old Trafford on Tuesday night that nearly saw them turn the tie around Derby go into this clash in a slightly more positive frame of mind than after the poor performance against QPR at the weekend. That defeat meant Nigel Clough`s side fell to within two points of the bottom three and saw tonight`s opponents climb above them in the league for the first time since the opening month of the season. Clough said the basics weren`t being done in that defeat and there has certainly been a huge contrast between the good and the bad from the United game to the weekends defeat. Andy Todd and Steve Davies look set to miss out so it could be a return to 4-4-2 and Clough has stressed the need to be on the front foot at home.
Nottingham Forest have begun to turn their awful form around in recent weeks and with the introduction of Billy Davies things have been looking up as they have pulled themselves out of the relegation places. Nathan Tyson and Rob Earnshaw have been scoring the goals that have backed the run that started with the shock 3-0 victory against Manchester City in the 3rd round and they are yet to concede a goal in Davies` two games in charge after taking over from Colin Calderwood.
‘For the local lads it’s a game we’re looking forward to.
Like any derby it doesn’t matter how you play if the ball’s in the back of the net and it’s 1-0 the bragging rights are yours until the next game.’
Kris Commons talking to Radio Derby about the local Derby.
Derby County Team News:
Andy Todd and Steve Davies could face late checks on injuries, Kris Commons looks set to recover from the stitches he needed to a shin injury at Old Trafford.
Player to watch: Kris Commons
Will be wanting to show an improved performance after his poor showing last time out against his former side and has been showing signs of a return to form in recent weeks, always dangerous and has looked at home in his central role against United.
Nottingham Forest Team News:
Guy Moussi and Julian Bennett are out but Matt Thornhill returns from injury and Billy Davies has hinted he may make changes for this cup clash.
Player to watch: Rob Earnshaw
Surprisingly has kept his place in the starting line-up under Davies (how long before they fall out again?) and has been in good form in recent weeks scoring four in the last four games as Forest have turned their poor form around.
Match Facts & Stats
Last five results
Ipswich Town (H) 0-1
Forest Green (A) 4-3 Hulse, Albrechtsen, Green, Davies
Manchester United (H) 1-0 Commons
Queens Park Rangers (H) 0-2
Manchester United (A) 2-4 Barnes 2
Doncaster Rovers (H) 2-3 Hird (og), Garner
Norwich City (A) 3-2 Thornhill, McGugan, Earnshaw
Manchester City (A) 3-0 Tyson, Earnshaw, Garner
Charlton Athletic (A) 2-0 Tyson, Earnshaw
Plymouth Argyle (H) 2-0 Earnshaw, Anderson
All kinds of stories before this one but the talking will be done on the pitch, despite some poor performances of late Nigel Clough will have his team fired up for this one and after being robbed by the referee last time out they will take this 2-1.
27th Jan v Birmingham City (Coca Cola Championship) St Andrews