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

Sports Mole previews Friday's Championship clash between Nottingham Forest and Derby County, including team news and predicted lineups.

Two teams in desperate need of points after disappointing starts to the season will lock horns in the Championship on Friday night as Nottingham Forest welcome Derby County.

Forest have only picked up four points from their opening six matches of the 2020-21 campaign to sit 20th in the table, while Derby have gathered just three points to occupy 21st position.

Match preview

Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton pictured on October 20, 2020© Reuters

Chris Hughton continued his unbeaten start as Forest boss on Tuesday night, with a 1-1 draw against Rotherham United making it four points from two matches since the new head coach arrived.

The Reds were actually staring at their fifth league defeat of the season as they trailed entering the latter stages of Tuesday's clash, but Sammy Ameobi came up with a 79th-minute leveller at the City Ground.

There is no getting away from the fact that it has been a desperately disappointing start to the season for Forest, who sacked Sabri Lamouchi after four straight losses.

The team appear to have made immediate progress under Hughton, though, and another positive result on Friday would strengthen suggestions that they are capable of pushing much higher up the table.

Forest are actually unbeaten in their last six Championship games with Derby and recorded a 1-0 victory over the Rams in the corresponding match during the 2019-20 campaign.

Derby County manager Phillip Cocu pictured on October 20, 2020© Reuters

Derby, as mentioned, have also had an incredibly disappointing start to the campaign, picking up just three points from their six matches to occupy 21st position in the table.

The Rams recorded an impressive 1-0 victory away to Norwich City before the October international break but have lost their last two matches, both 1-0, to Watford and Huddersfield Town.

Tuesday's defeat to Huddersfield would have particularly disappointed the supporters, and there is simply no downplaying the importance of Friday's contest at the City Ground.

There remain huge question marks over the future of head coach Phillip Cocu, but a win on Friday could be the type of result capable of acting as a springboard for a team full of talent yet lacking in confidence.

Nottingham Forest Championship form: LLLLWD

Derby County Championship form: LLLWLL
Derby County form (all competitions): LLLWLL

Team News

Derby County's Wayne Rooney pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Forest will again be without the services of Fouad Bachirou and Joe Worrall through hamstring and foot injuries respectively, but Hughton's side did not pick up any fresh issues against Rotherham.

Jack Colback should again feature in the middle of the park, while Luke Freeman and Joe Lolley are both expected to keep their attacking spots for the home side.

Centre-forward Lewis Grabban is yet to find the back of the net during a disappointing start to the season, but the 32-year-old should again lead the Forest line.

As for Derby, player-coach Wayne Rooney is still absent, with the former Manchester United striker in quarantine after a coronavirus scare.

Krystian Bielik, Jordan Ibe and Louie Sibley are all working their way back to full fitness, meanwhile, and are therefore unlikely to be involved for the visitors on Friday night.

Cocu is expected to make changes from the side that started against Huddersfield, though, with Martyn Waghorn and Duane Holmes both in line to feature in the final third of the field.

Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Samba; Christie, McKenna, Figueiredo, Ioannou; Yates, Colback; Lolley, Freeman, Ameobi; Grabban

Derby County possible starting lineup:
Marshall; Wisdom, Davies, Clarke; Byrne, Bird, Shinnie, Buchanan; Lawrence, Waghorn, Holmes

SM words green background

We say: Nottingham Forest 1-1 Derby County

Both teams will be desperate to pick up a positive result, but we are finding it difficult to predict either to triumph. Forest's form under Hughton has certainly improved, but they were far from convincing against Rotherham last time out, and we are backing a low-scoring draw on Friday night.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a draw or an away win 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.Draw/Away:data


Who will win Friday's Championship clash between Nottingham Forest and Derby County?

Nottingham Forest
Derby County
Nottingham Forest
Derby County
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Derby County manager Phillip Cocu pictured on October 20, 2020
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Phillip Cocu insists Derby did not deserve to lose against Huddersfield
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