Two of the Championship’s form teams meet head-to-head in the East Midlands derby


It’s four wins from their last four home games for Derby as they hope to continue their resurgence when they host rivals Nottingham Forest on Friday night.

Last time out, the Rams ran out 2-0 winners at home to fellow strugglers Huddersfield Town. Goals in each half from George Edmundson and Martyn Waghorn sealed all three points for the home side.

Despite the visitors enjoying the fair share of possession, George Edmundson opened the scoring for Wayne Rooney’s side after just 22 minutes. A textbook header for the defender courtesy of a fine cross from Nathan Byrne.

Leading a goal-to-nil at the break, Rooney made two changes at half-time in his attempt to put the game out of sight.

Likewise, substitute Martyn Waghorn provided Derby with that much needed two-goal-cushion to settle any nerves going into the final 25 minutes. One-on-one he coolly slotted past Huddersfield number one, Ryan Schofield.

The win saw the Midlander’s leapfrog their opponents up to 18th in the league table, as they continue to pull away from the drop-zone.

Speaking to RamsTV (Derby County official website), manager Wayne Rooney reiterated the importance of togetherness around the camp, he added: “We need to take confidence in that we are a good team, and we can keep pushing up the table. We are realistic and know there might be a defeat or two in there, but we will keep trying to win more games than we lose or draw.”

Meanwhile, rivals Nottingham Forest will travel the short journey across the A52 in full confidence after accumulating 10 points from a possible 15 in their last five outings (WWLDW).

On Tuesday evening, Chris Hughton’s men travelled to South Yorkshire as they faced Championship strugglers Rotherham United, maintaining their recent form they held on for a 1-0 win.

A tightly contested affair as the home side looked to climb out of the relegation zone with a win and Forest looked to edge closer towards mid-table.

With neither side wanting to let slip the first hour saw much of the possession played between both boxes, and neither goalkeeper really being tested.

Though, the breakthrough did come with just over 20 minutes left of the 90, midfielder Ryan Yates anticipated play and latched onto a loose ball to lash home from six yards.

Solidified defending in the final knockings earning the Reds all three points to climb the table and move 10 points clear of the drop-zone.


Derby are one of the lowest scorers in the Championship and their top scorer is Colin Kazim-Richards with six goals. But former Rangers striker Martyn Waghorn netted in the previous meeting and also scored in midweek.

Ryan Yates netted in midweek and was praised for his recent performances by boss Chris Hughton. He’s scored twice in his last four games

Team News

 Derby have no new injury concerns from Tuesday night’s outing. Winger Tom Lawrence has been out of action since December with an ankle injury but is expected to be back in the squad next week.

Jack Stretton who has been suffering with a groin problem but has been out on the grass of late and set to be making a return to full training in the coming weeks.

Krystian Bielik and Curtis Davis have both been ruled out for the season. The Polish defender is due for surgery on his ACL injury, whilst Davis continues his recovery after successful surgery on his Achilles.

 Forest were boosted with the news that Lyle Taylor is fit having picked up a knock at Blackburn last Saturday, he was named on the substitutes bench on Tuesday night before coming on for the final 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, it’s too soon for Lewis Grabban to return as he has missed the last three games with a hamstring problem, but Hughton hopes he will be available soon.

Defender Scott McKenna is still out with an ankle problem, but Samba Sow and Sammy Ameobi could return having both returned to training this week, with Harry Arter set to be back in training next week.


The two sides have met on 108 occasions in the past. Forest having the slightly better record with 42 wins and 28 draws, whilst Derby have been victorious on 38 previous occasions.

The sides last met on 23rd October 2020 as they both had to settle for a share of the spoils, goals from Lyle Taylor and a superb free kick from Martyn Waghorn ensured the teams cancelled each other out for a 1-1 draw at The City Ground.

It will be Wayne Rooney’s first experience of the rivalry from the technical area, but it has been well documented that the England legend has guided the Rams to 31 points from 18 games.

Derby are unbeaten in the last five meetings between the two sides at Pride Park (2D,3W).

Forest have conceded just two goals in seven league matches and accumulated 14 points (4W,2D,1L).

Both managers have stated this week their players are in a good place, so this should be two teams brimming with confidence. The two gaffers should also be receiving plaudits in equal measure as they look to build some momentum ahead of a promotion bid next season.

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Sports Journalism undergraduate at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) with an excellent knowledge and passion for football. As well as a strong all-round understanding of most major sports. Given my passion for sport and my previous experiences in Business, I know a career in Sports Journalism would be perfect for me.

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