Derby County vs. Forest preview..

In case you hadn’t realised, we’ve a football match on Saturday.  Whilst it may not get much national recognition, games between these two sides are generally passionate affairs – and I’m really looking forward to it.  Pride Park of course hasn’t been a remotely happy hunting ground for the Reds, never registering a win since the Rams moved house to an industrial estate.  Form would suggest that this could be an excellent chance to remedy this.

The cliche to dig out for any ‘derby’ game is that the form book counts for nothing.  The Reds go in to this with the opportunity of extending their unbeaten league run to twenty games – the Rams prepared midweek by travelling to Plymouth and losing.  They’ve won one league game in six, and lost the last three league games at Pride Park.  They have, however had a couple of decent cup results at home – a win against Millwall (on penalties) in their replay, and beating Doncaster 1-0.

Agent Clough has been on a well-publicised purge of the wage bill at Derby, and rumours abound that they will listen to offers for their players – with Hulse linked to clearly-in-need-of-a-striker Queens Park Rangers.  Given our own links with extending Shorey’s loan (although he made the Villa bench tonight) and bids for Victor Moses – we too might have unexpected players available for inclusion.  As might the Rams – who are scouring the loan market to strengthen their squad.

Tuesday night’s game saw Wes pick up an injury, aside from that we’re in good shape – with Chambers waiting in the wings should he be needed.  I would expect to see Moussi return to midfield to give us strength in the middle probably at the expense of Earnie, leaving Dex up front.  The left-back berth will depend on whether Shorey’s services are reacquired – if not then Perchy will be keen to deputise again as he did to impressive effect against QPR.

Our hosts are likely to feature everyone’s favourite pantomime villain, Robbie Savage – who seems to be the first name on Clough’s teamsheet.  It will be interesting to see if he uses the game as an opportunity to try to get something out of a certain chubby winger who used to play for us.  The reports I hear from the Derby fans I know suggest that something Derby have lacked of late is wideplay, Clough opting to pack the midfield with central midfielders.

Billy Davies will, of course, have a much keener idea about our opponents than I – and will have prepared his team and tactics accordingly.  With Newcastle picking up an expected victory over troubled Crystal Palace this evening, we could temporarily occupy top-spot with a win of 3-0 or better.  Frankly, a scrappy 1-0 would be plenty for me and the other Forest fans lucky enough to avail themselves of a ticket.

That natural level of pessimism that only a football fan can have kicks in for me though (makes a change, huh?)… given the pressures Derby are under this game represents a massive opportunity for Agent Clough reduce some of the flak coming his way.  Aside from the (I think unlikely) risk of being sucked into a relegation scrap, this really does represent probably one of the few things Derby have left to play for this season.

On a more self-indulgent note, you’ll have to wait a bit (potentially a few days) for post-match reaction as I’m hot-footing it to the wilds of Scotland straight after the game (having already incurred the wrath of family members for joining them later – who organises such shindigs during football season!?) so will have limited if any connectivity.  I might get a chance to post something at some point, or maybe not – but don’t worry (as if you would!) my absence is definitely planned!

Of course, depending on the news drifting through the open transfer window this might not be the last you hear from me before the weekend (I’m still very much in “It’s January, we don’t do January signings” mode, though!)

20 Responses

  1. Im nervous already n it’s only thursday!!

    The big question for me is should Earnie start? I know we’ve done fantastic away from home with a slightly more defensive setup, but playing against his old club in the form he is in I’d fancy him to bag us a few.

    Hopefully king Billy will do us right whatever he decides!!

  2. Does’nt Earnie look a bit like a gay alien in pic below?


    check this out, spot the sheep related word…made me laugh !!!

  4. We desperately don’t want it to be the rams that end our unbeaten records this season. Another away performance like we had at WBA would be very nice thankyou. Let’s show them how far we’ve come and they have fallen.

    C’mon you tricky trees!

  5. As determinded as the sheep will be to appease their botherers for an awful season,you just know Billy will make sure we go into the game in the right way.

  6. Form really does count, and so does quality. 4-0 to Forest, direby have nothing but average footballers, and sorry agent Clough, a manager out of his depth

  7. NFFC I think it’s shocking that your missing out on some quality family time in the beautiful land that is bonny Scotland; so if you want to avoid incurring the wrath of your family I’ll only be too happy to take the ticket off your hands…

    • Touched as I am by your selfless offer, Graham, I reckon the wider nffc family will cope with me being a few hours late!

      I’ll be a lot better company than I would have been had I missed the game!!

  8. Shame; give those sheep botherers some stick from me!

  9. after not parting with 40odd quid to become an away member on top of the £450 season ticket price, i’d not regretted it one bit until this weekend……then the sheep shagging b******* go and prove my original decision to be the correct one by more than halving the ticket allocation to forest fans and forcing us in to a lucky dip scenario,if the powers that be at forest have any backbone the next time we play them in 2019 we should allocate 400 tickets in a corner of our 50,000 full every week new ground in gamston or wherever they decide to put it……

  10. Never gonna happen seanyboy. If Mcarthur knows he can sell 4500 to the sheep, lesta and next year (hopefully) west ham etc etc he wont chance only flogging 1500 to forest fans.
    Personally I’d give them 1000 and stick ’em in the corner.
    Age old arguement that we’ll never win though!

    As for tomorrow, give ’em hell lads. Stand up, sing loud and sing proud. This is the finest forest team we have seen for over 10 years, and our boys need you tomorrow like never before.
    Beat the sheep and I firmly believe we’ll go up. And I’m the most pessimistic forest fan ever. Ask the bloke sits next to me !!

    • agreed matty, just p***** me off and you know if matches had been other way round we’d have got 4,500 tickets at there place instead of being done up like kippers to ensure we dont get a foothold in the stands as well as on the pitch.

  11. We have to be thoroughly proffesional and ruthless 2morrow.Prevent them getting any balls in from wide areas as thats were they have hurt us in the past.

    Now we have a team of men not boys lets see what the sheep have and lets see how savage and co fair against mckenna and the moose i know where my money is.

    Enjoy nffc and fellow reds raise the roof.

    U reds

  12. Anyone know of any decent streams the game will be on 2morrow.

  13. Non league Nigel observed we are getting the rub of the green and our FIFTH goal was an example because it deflected a few times.The straw clutching has begun already.I guess watching us is the only chance he gets to see so many goals!

  14. Did you see Savage on East Mids Today? “Forest are the best team in this league in my opinion”. Don’t know who he was trying to wind up but it still made me smile.

    • I missed it, but he seems to have been saying nice things in other channels too… I suppose he needs to practice being relatively unbiased in this, his fledgling media career.

      Can’t say he riles me too much as a pundit, it’s on the pitch he gets on my nerves!

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