New Reds boss Alex McLeish will get his first taste of a Forest-Derby game when the two arch rivals meet at Pride Park on Saturday (kick-off 1pm).McLeish is no stranger to big ‘derby’ encounters having worked in Glasgow and Birmingham and is relishing the A52 version.
Forest claimed their first win under the Scot’s management last weekend when they beat Peterborough at The City Ground to leave them ninth, three points off a play-off spot.
Derby are three points further back after a 2-1 defeat at Brighton last Saturday.
Forest have skipper Danny Collins available again after he missed the Peterborough win through suspension following his sending-off against Oldham.
The Reds will check on the fitness of Dexter Blackstock, who sat out the Posh game after picking up a slight knock in training.
But they will again be without Andy Reid and Daniel Ayala (both hamstring injuries), while Adlene Guedioura is away on African Cup of Nations duty with Algeria.
Derby are hoping their 17 year old midfielder Will Hughes will be fit for the game, despite sustaining a knee injury against Brighton.
The Rams will be without knee injury victims Jake Buxton and Shaun Barker.
Forest - 19th
Derby – 12th
Countless players have served both clubs with Nathan Tyson, Kris Commons and Kieron Freeman among the most recent to leave The City Ground for Derby.
Back in the 1970s Henry Newton crossed the A52 ‘divide’, albeit via a spell with Everton.
The Nottingham-born midfielder launched his career with The Reds and from 1963 he made more than 300 first team appearances for the club.
He was a key member of the side that finished runners-up in the First Division title race in 1967 but three years later was sold to Everton for £115,000.
More than 100 appearances for the Merseyside club he returned to the East Midlands in 1973 by joining Derby.
He landed a First Division Championship winners’ medal during his time at The Baseball Ground which saw him make more than 100 appearances for The Rams.
Forest wins over Derby: 36 (33 League; 2 FA Cup, 1 League Cup)
Derby wins over Forest: 33 (29 League; 4 FA Cup)
Draws: 21 (19 League; 2 FA Cup)
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Assistant Referees: Harry Lennard and David Bryan
Fourth Official: Paul Tierney