In case some of you hadn’t realised, there’s a football match tomorrow..

Local pride and bragging rights are at stake on friday...

Local pride and bragging rights are at stake on friday...

It’s getting quite exciting now, isn’t it?  It certainly is for me, just one more day until our FA Cup game at Pride Park, a reunion with the lesser Clough, and a return to his old stomping ground for Billy.  It certainly is the stuff ordinarily soap operas would probably be made of, with demand and interest outstripping the tickets, as well as they away end (and I dare say smatterings of the home ends) there will be pubs all around the country with a cracking atmosphere.

Oddly, and this feels very alien to me, a lot of Forest fans seem to be anticipating this game with a high degree of confidence.  It’s true we’re on a great run of form, and that our opponents are not, however this is no ordinary game for either side.  Both managers will be desperate to cash in the favour that a win will bring from either set of fans for doing one over the other, and this will undoubtedly translate on to the pitch.

Attempting to be objective, which is difficult, would suggest to me that the midfield battle is the one where we’ll have to play on top of our game – because Derby’s midfield looks stronger than ours.  Defensively I think both sides have significant weaknesses, but in attack I favour our trio of Earnie, Tys and Garner over theirs.  On paper, it will be close – but of course, formbooks, windows, local derbies… we all know the score.

The sheep botherers of my acquaintance are similarly bullish as the Forest fans I know about their prospects – I’m not sure whether, from either side, this is pure bravado in the face of a rival or whether they have become so entrenched that’s what they all believe.  I’m not all that confident, but then I’m a cautious character anyway in that regard – I’m certainly looking forward to it more than any game for some time.

For those of us going, it’s imperative we give the lads and Billy a rousing backing – every derisive chant directed at Davies needs to be met with something supportive of the new man.  Personally I think chants directed at the lesser Clough are a little distasteful, I still retain affection for him the person despite despising his career choice.  Although Commons deserves whatever he gets, if he has the nerve to play, that is!

Depending on the result a night of celebrations might be in order (that’s acknowledging a possibility, not a prediction!), so updates might not be as forthcoming as usual tomorrow, we shall see.  I’m sure that this will be amongst the most-watched games by you readers anyway – so make use of the comments system to write your thoughts too.  With a few years away from it, you sometimes forget the intensity of a good local rivalry – I realise now how much I’ve missed it!

With us on the back of a great run in the league and cup, and Derby of course struggling in the league – but putting in one cracking game, and one credible one against Manchester United, it’s hard to come to an objective way of choosing a ‘favourite’.  Betfair favour the home side very slightly, but clearly they too are struggling to differentiate, as we gradually work our way up they work their way down – have we met somewhere in the middle or crossed over yet?  Who knows…

After today all logic goes out the window, it’s time to have a few beers and make a right racket in honour of the mighty Reds…

All together now…

When Derby go down again, again,
We’ll sing, we’ll sing…

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