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Match Previews

Preview: Derby (H)

9 March 2018

Nottingham Forest entertain East Midlands rivals Derby County at The City Ground on Sunday in one of the most eagerly-anticipated clashes in recent years.

The Reds come into the game five unbeaten, with a win against Birmingham City and a draw against Norwich City this week setting them up for the clash on Trentside.

Aitor Karanka's men have been improving in each game as will look to take things up a notch on Sunday afternoon.

Derby on the other hand have suffered a blip in form which has dented their promotion ambitions. A winless run of six games has seen them fall away from the automatic promotion picture as they seek to hang onto the place in the top six.

Gary Rowett has mounting injury problems to add to his worries, but The Rams will be hoping to return to form on the big stage.

See below for Aitor Karanka's pre-match views.

Team news

The Reds have no fresh injury worries heading into the game, with Eric Lichaj pushing for a recall having completed his suspension.

Lee Tomlin remains a doubt after the midfield man missed Tuesday night's game at Norwich.

Derby meanwhile have a host of concerns with several key players doubtful. Forwards David Nugent, Cameron Jerome and Matej Vydra all have injury concerns, as does midfielder Tom Huddlestone. 

Joe Ledley, George Thorne, Sam Winnall and Chris Baird will all be missing through injury or suspension.

From the opposition

Derby manager Gary Rowett knows that the East Midlands derby is a one-off game, with form and league position going out of the window.

Speaking ahead of the game, he said: "The atmosphere at both grounds is fantastic. It kind of belies form, thankfully for us, and where you are in the league table, so maybe it's a good game for both teams.

"We all know what it means to the fans and the area, and we're looking forward to the match."

He added: "We've lost two games in 17, and yet we're disappointed with that. We're not in as good a form as we'd like to be and we have to turn it around.

"We've still got plenty to play for, regardless of how negative people are feeling about our recent form. A win in any game would give us a boost right now - and to do it in a derby would have extra significance."

One to watch - Matej Vydra

Derby's top scorer this season, Matej Vydra is set to be the one to keep an eye on at The City Ground on Sunday should he be fit.

There are question marks surrounding his fitness, with him only coming off the bench in the midweek draw against QPR, and Derby will be hoping the Czech international is fit for Sunday's showdown.

Last visit

Tickets

Supporters are advised to book their seats as soon as possible as there is extremely limited availability in all areas. A ticket update can be found here, while full prices are available here.

Coverage

Due to the game being shown on Sky Sports, there will be no live broadcast on iFollow Forest for international subscribers. However, audio commentary will be available.

There will also be full coverage via the club's official social media channels and in the Match Centre.

Other fixtures

All fixtures to be played at 3pm on Saturday unless otherwise stated:

Burton v Bristol City
Cardiff v Birmingham
Hull v Norwich
Ipswich v Sheffield United
Middlesbrough v Barnsley
Millwall v Brentford
Preston v Fulham
QPR v Sunderland
Reading v Leeds
Sheffield Wednesday v Bolton
Aston Villa v Wolves (5.30pm)


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