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In focus: East Midlands derby - Derby County v Nottingham Forest

16 January 2015

The Sky Sports cameras will be at the iPro Stadium on Saturday lunchtime as Derby County host Nottingham Forest in the Sky Bet Championship, and we've taken a closer look at the match.

The two rivals come into the second East Midlands derby of the season in contrasting form, with Derby joint-top of the division and 13th-placed Forest on a run of three straight defeats.

The Rams joined Bournemouth at the summit last week when they beat Ipswich Town 1-0 at Portman Road, and victory again this weekend will see them move three clear at the top, for a few hours at least.

Forest are without a victory in their last seven Championship games, and they've scored just four goals in that time, with the latest defeat coming at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday.

Derby's clash with Ipswich last Saturday saw two of the division's leading goalscorers go head-to-head with the Rams' Chris Martin up against Ipswich's Daryl Murphy. This time around, 15-goal Martin will share the pitch with another of the league’s most potent forwards, in Forest's Britt Assombalonga, who has 13 goals so far.

One of those strikes came back in September in the reverse fixture, when Assombalonga put Forest 1-0 up before Ryan Shotton secured a share of the spoils at the City Ground.



TEAM NEWS

Derby will be without John Eustace who requires knee surgery due to an injury sustained last weekend, and he faces an uphill battle to appear again this season.

The Rams will also be missing teenage starlet Jordon Ibe, who was recalled by parent club Liverpool earlier this week.

Forest welcome back midfield maestro Henri Lansbury after a two-match suspension, but they're sweating on the fitness of a trio of strikers. Assombalonga is expected to be fit after a hip injury, but the game may come too soon for both Matty Fryatt and Dexter Blackstock.

IN THE MEDIA

Nottingham Forest winger Chris Burke has called for professionalism from his team-mates ahead of the derby-day clash.

“As I’ve got older, I’ve realised you have to make sure you don’t play the occasion, you just play the game,” Burke told www.nottinghamforest.co.uk.

“You can’t let your team-mates down by getting sent off or doing anything rash. You can’t get too hyped up on it and let your emotions take over.”

Burke is familiar with a number of the opposition, one of which is fellow Scotland international Johnny Russell.

The Rams attacker, speaking to www.dcfc.co.uk said he is well aware that the form book goes out of the window when it comes to this fixture.

“Local derbies are massive and form doesn’t matter going into these kinds of games. It’s all about who performs and who is up for the fight on the day.

“People are going into Saturday’s game expecting us to produce a similar result to last year’s, but it doesn’t work like that.”

THREE THRILLERS

Derby County 5-0 Nottingham Forest - Sky Bet Championship - 2013/14

The game that Johnny Russell was talking about was this clash towards the business end of last season, when Derby's chase for an automatic promotion spot was dealt a huge boost as they thumped their fierce rivals 5-0. Russell made it four with a spectacular strike, with the other goals coming from Jeff Hendrick and a Craig Bryson hat-trick.

The heavy defeat meant Forest failed to enter the Play-Off positions, and this was the first of many poor results that eventually saw them finish 11th.



Nottingham Forest 5-2 Derby County - Sky Bet Championship - 2010/11

Marcus Tudgay and Robert Earnshaw each scored a brace as Forest swept the Rams aside in the Christmas period of 2010. Luke Chambers netted the other goal for Billy Davies' men, who were rampant in front of a packed City Ground in a season that saw them complete the double over their rivals.

Nottingham Forest 2-3 Derby County - FA Cup replay - 2008/09

The pair contested an epic FA Cup Fourth Round tie back in 2008. With the original match having ended 1-1 at Pride Park, Derby fought back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in front of their travelling support in the replay. Former Forest midfielder Kris Commons grabbed the winner for the Rams to earn them a Fifth Round tie at home to Manchester United.

CROSSING THE DIVIDE

Brian Clough managed both clubs during his illustrious career, winning the First and Second Division with Derby between 1967 and1973. But his biggest achievements came at Forest, where he spent 18 years leading them to back-to-back European Cups, a First Division title and four League Cups.

The Brian Clough Trophy was founded in 2007 for the fixture between Forest and Derby, with the winner of the encounter taking the silverware until they clash again.

Players to represent both include Rob Earnshaw, Kris Commons, Nathan Tyson, Dean Saunders and Dexter Blackstock, while Billy Davies and current Derby boss Steve McClaren have sat in both clubs' home dugout as manager.​


SEEING RED

Derbies are notably feisty affairs, but not many more so than this one, with red cards being shown in six of the last eight encounters.

There have been dismissals in the last four fixtures at the City Ground, including Derby’s Jake Buxton receiving his marching orders earlier this season.

The referee hasn’t had to reach into his back pocket in the last two battles in Derbyshire, but in the two games prior to that, there were red cards for the Rams' Dean Moxey and Forest’s Marcus Tudgay, when their respective sides were 1-0 down in the dying minutes.

COVERAGE

The Sky Sports cameras will be at the iPro Stadium to capture all the action, and we'll be tweeting updates from the official Sky Bet Championship Twitter account - @SkyBetChamp. Join in the conversation using #Championship.

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