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Jan 22, 2022 at 12.30pm UK
Nott'm ForestNottingham Forest
DerbyDerby County
Grabban (48'), Johnson (82')
Grabban (35'), Samba (89')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Lawrence (88' pen.)
Thompson (31'), Stearman (51'), Buchanan (56'), Lawrence (89'), Byrne (90+6')
Morrison (90+6')

Preview: Nottingham Forest vs. Derby County - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Nottingham Forest vs. Derby County - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Nottingham Forest and Derby County, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Nottingham Forest head into their East Midlands showdown with Derby County looking for the victory which could get them back into the hunt for the Championship playoffs.

Despite their ongoing off-the-pitch troubles, Derby have put together a five-match unbeaten streak in the Championship, moving the club to within eight points of safety.

Match preview

At the end of 2021, Forest looked like they had lost their way after suffering back-to-back defeats to Middlesbrough and Huddersfield Town respectively.

However, the addition of a couple of fresh faces has seemingly improved the mood at the City Ground, Forest following a win over Arsenal in the FA Cup with a last-gasp victory at Millwall last weekend.

Lewis Grabban was again the hero, the veteran forward scoring his 11th Championship goal of the campaign to keep Forest within five points of the playoffs.

Head coach Steve Cooper knows that he needs more out of his frontline with Forest netting just four times in five games, but he will feel that the wins will come providing that the backline continue to do their job at the other end.

Forest end January with three matches against teams occupying spots in the bottom five, although they would be naive to dismiss neighbours Derby based on their league position.

With local pride also at stake, that has no chance of happening, but Derby have shown that, on current form, they are more than a match for anyone in the second tier.

Wayne Rooney's side have accumulated 13 points from their most recent five fixtures, a return only matched by playoff-chasing Middlesbrough.

Despite the continuing distraction of off-the-pitch matters, Derby were able to beat Sheffield United by a 2-0 scoreline in their last outing, Tom Lawrence netting both of the goals.

The Rams currently find themselves in a position where they are unable to sign new players, a possible hindrance over the coming two weeks when offers will naturally be made for their current crop.

Nevertheless, Rooney needs to keep things ticking over on the pitch and hope that a takeover can be completed in time to make several additions before the end of the month.

Nottingham Forest Championship form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W

Nottingham Forest form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

Derby County Championship form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

Derby County form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W

Team News

Barring any unforeseen injury issues, Cooper will likely stick with the Forest XI which started against Millwall.

Philip Zinckernagel is an alternative in the final third, but Cooper will likely persist with the trio of Grabban, Brennan Johnson and Keinan Davis.

With Derby defender Craig Forsyth available again, he could return at left-back, allowing Festy Ebosele to be used further forward.

Colin Kazim-Richards made an impression as a substitute against the Blades and could take the spot of Luke Plange.

The likes of Ravel Morrison and Louie Sibley may have to make do with a place on the substitutes' bench.

Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Samba; Worrall, Cook, McKenna; Spence, Yates, Garner, Colback; Grabban; Johnson, Davis

Derby County possible starting lineup:
Allsop; Byrne, Stearman, Davies, Forsyth; Knight, Bird, Thompson; Ebosele, Kazim-Richards, Lawrence

We say: Nottingham Forest 2-1 Derby County

Despite the difference in league positions, this should be regarded as 50-50 contest, and Derby will relish the chance to get one over their hosts. Nevertheless, we feel that Forest might just edge this contest, potentially by the odd goal in three.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data

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Championship Table
2Blackburn RoversBlackburn28157645301552
4Queens Park RangersQPR2614574031947
5West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom27129634201445
6Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2812883733444
8Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest2711793529640
9Stoke CityStoke26115103228438
10Coventry CityCoventry2510783430437
11Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2510693332136
13Luton TownLuton259883631535
15Preston North EndPreston268992933-433
16Bristol City2796123547-1233
17Swansea CitySwansea248792832-431
18Birmingham CityBirmingham2787122840-1231
19Hull City2785142331-829
20Cardiff CityCardiff2665152847-1923
22Peterborough UnitedPeterborough2554162151-3019
23Derby CountyDerby2781182626014
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