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Match Previews

Match preview: Derby (H)

17 March 2017

Nottingham Forest welcome Derby County to The City Ground in the East Midlands derby clash on Saturday 18 March (kick-off 1pm).


In what is one of the most eagerly anticipated East Midlands derbies in years, Nottingham Forest and Derby County meet at The City Ground with new managers at the helm. Mark Warburton was appointed manager of The Reds on Tuesday just hours after The Rams confirmed former player Gary Rowett as their new boss, and both sides will be desperate to end a rotten run of form to take into the international break.

Forest lost 1-0 at Burton Albion last week while Derby were humbled 3-0 at promotion-chasing Brighton, and both new managers will be keen to set their mark down and impress in front of a packed City Ground.

Britt Assombalonga is expected to be back in contention after missing the defeat at Burton with a minor injury, but Eric Lichaj is a doubt after coming off with a knock in the game at the Pirelli Stadium. Jamie Ward serves the final match of his two-game suspension and Matt Mills, Chris Cohen and Jack Hobbs are all unlikely to be involved as they continue their recoveries from injury.

Derby captain Richard Keogh is set to return after missing the last four games through injury, as is Bradley Johnson after he missed last Friday's match at Brighton. Cyrus Christie is a doubt but Craig Forsyth, George Thorne, Jason Shackell and Nick Blackman all remain sidelined. 

Nottingham Forest

Fulham (A) - Lost 3-2
Sheffield Wednesday (H) - Lost 2-1
Wigan (A) - Drew 0-0
Brighton (H) - Won 3-0
Brentford (H) - Lost 3-2
Burton (A) - Lost 1-0

Derby

Burton (H) - Drew 0-0
Aston Villa (A) - Lost 1-0
Blackburn (A) - Lost 1-0
Barnsley (H) - Won 2-1
Preston (H) - Drew 1-1
Brighton (A) - Lost 3-0


Tom Ince

Winger Tom Ince has been the main attacking threat for Derby this season, chipping in with 13 goals and five assists in all competitions. His pace and trickery has caused many defences problems this season and he is likely to be the focal point for The Rams' attacks on Saturday.

The 25-year-old, son of former England captain Paul, started his career at Liverpool before he impressed at Blackpool. His form at Bloomfield Road earned him a move to Premier League side Hull City in 2014 but that move didn't work out and, via a loan spell at Nottingham Forest, he joined Derby where he has scored more than 30 goals since 2015. 
 
New Derby manager Gary Rowett said: “My mind is very much on Saturday. It’s a great move for me personally to be the manager of Derby County. That emotion has gone and the focus now is about how we win the game.

“I am mindful of the feeling but I want a strong performance. Regardless of the result, what is going to be important is that the players respond to what we’ve talked about in the week. If we perform well then we know we have a good chance of winning or getting a draw.

“It is an interesting one and when you look at a local derby people say they want the players to understand the passion, commitment and what it means to the fans. Every game should be like that but, of course, a game against Forest is always self-motivating as it’s a bigger game in a bigger atmosphere. 

“We have to find a way to find a balance around the principles we want as a club and a team, as well as having that absolute desire and fight to win every single battle that we go in to.”

Tickets are only available to supporters who have an existing purchase history recorded on their customer number within the Nottingham Forest ticket database. 

Tickets are on general sale and are priced (matchday rates in brackets) as follows:

General sale
 
Adults: £29 (£31)
Seniors: £21 (£23)
Under 18s: £14 (£14)
Under 12s: £7 (£7)
 
Family Area
 
Adults: £24 (£26)
Seniors: £19 (£21)
Under 18s: £12 (£12)
Under 12s: £6 (£6)

Tickets can be purchased in-person at the ticket office, online at tickets.nottinghamforest.co.uk or by calling 0115 982 4388.

Live audio commentary of the game will be available on Forest Player HD from 12pm while there will also be live text commentary available on the Forest Wall and on the club's Twitter page from 12.30pm. Forest Player HD will also have extended match highlights from 12pm on Sunday, as well as all the reaction from the Forest camp after the game.

To win:

Nottingham Forest - 2/1
Derby County - 7/5
Draw - 9/4

To score first:

Britt Assombalonga - 9/2
Ross McCormack - 7/1
Thomas Ince - 11/2
Darren Bent - 11/2


Fixtures to be played at 3pm on Saturday unless otherwise stated.

Bristol City v Huddersfield (kick-off 7.45pm, Friday)
Sheffield Wednesday v Reading (kick-off 7.45pm, Friday)
Blackburn v Preston (kick-off 1pm)
Birmingham v Newcastle
Burton v Brentford
Cardiff v Ipswich
Fulham v Wolves
Norwich v Barnsley
QPR v Rotherham
Wigan v Aston Villa
Leeds v Brighton (kick-off 5.30pm)

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