Derby v Nott'm Forest

Npower Championship

Venue:
Pride Park
Date:
Sunday, 5 February
Coverage:
Watch live on BBC Two from 1200 GMT; listen on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC local radio; text commentary on the BBC Sport website
Notingham Forest captain Luke Chambers
Forest skipper Luke Chambers is available after serving a ban
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TEAM NEWS

Derby will assess striker Theo Robinson, who has missed the last two games because of a calf problem.

Nathan Tyson impressed as a substitute at Barnsley on Tuesday, and may replace Sunderland loanee Ryan Noble up front.

Nottingham Forest could give debuts to loan signings Danny Higginbotham and Scott Wooton.

Captain Luke Chambers is set to return after completing a three-match ban for his red card against Southampton.

MATCH PREVIEW

When Nottingham Forest were founded in 1865, 'Garibaldi Red' was chosen as the club's colours in honour of the legendary Italian patriot and revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi. However, fighting spirit and inspirational leadership have been in short supply of late - Tuesday's defeat to Burnley means they have lost their last six home league matches without scoring, a barren run that stretches back to November.

The club have lost nine of their previous 11 Championship matches; fans are entitled to ask what has gone wrong. Exactly a year ago Forest sat in second place, well set for automatic promotion. Since then they've lost 26 of 48 Championship matches (including play-off games), winning 13 times. While experienced squad members were allowed to leave in the summer, nine of the 11 players who started the play-off loss to Swansea in May remain at the club (the exceptions are Wes Morgan and and Nathan Tyson).

Forest briefly rallied after Steve McClaren's departure in October, winning four of their first six league games under his successor, Steve Cotterill. However, they have since reverted to type, collecting just four points from a possible 33.

While pressure grows on Cotterill, Derby appear to be reaping the benefits of stability. After three successive bottom-half finishes under Nigel Clough, they are one of many clubs with realistic hopes of a play-off place, although they suffered their first defeat in seven Championship games against Barnsley on Tuesday.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Derby's first league title, masterminded by Nigel's father Brian, the legendary manager who connects these two East Midlands rivals. To mark that link, since 2007 the winner of this fixture has collected the Brian Clough Trophy. It is currently held by the Rams, who won 2-1 at the City Ground in September despite playing most of the match with 10 men.

Recent meetings have been even - the last six encounters have produced three wins apiece. Forest recorded their first ever victory at Pride Park last season thanks to a late Robert Earnshaw goal - but that is the only time they have collected maximum points at Derby in the last 18 years.

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

•This is the 90th competitive meeting. Nottingham Forest lead by 36 wins to 32, with 21 of the previous 89 drawn.

•There is nothing to choose between the pair in league games on Derby turf. Both have won 15 times, with nine draws.

•Derby won 2-1 at the City Ground in September, and are bidding for a first double over their East Midlands rivals in 40 years.

Derby County

•The Rams have lost their last two in the league and FA Cup, but are pursuing a fifth successive home win in the Championship.

•Derby have not dropped a point at Pride Park since a 1-0 loss to Brighton on 29 November.

•Manager Nigel Clough made over 400 appearances in two spells for Nottingham Forest, making his debut in 1984.

Nottingham Forest

•The Reds have the weakest attack in the division, with just 22 goals in 28 league games.

•Forest last picked up as few as 24 points after 28 games in 2004-05 - the last season they were relegated from the Championship.

•Forest have lost nine of the 10 league games in which they trailed at half-time this season. The exception was the 2-2 draw with Leicester on 20 August, when they fought back from two goals down.

Live text commentary

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