|Daniel.J's MatchDay Preview - 3 Reasons Why We Must Win!|
Tue 13th Mar 2012 10:50 by Daniel J Sewart
Until rescheduled due to bad weather, this match was expected to be a walk in the park for the in form Rams. Since then Forest has shown a pulse and Derby have trouble finding a regular heartbeat which could make for a much tighter contest.
Derby County vs. Nottingham Forest
Pride Park Stadium
7:45pm – Tuesday March 13thCurrent Form – Last 5 League Matches:
Derby: 15th – L, L, D, W, L
Forest: 20th – W, W, D, L, W
The Rams are expecting to welcome back Gareth Roberts to the starting line up which means Jason Shackell will mostly move back into his regular role in central defence.
This will be a bit hard on Jake Buxton, who was the best of a bad bunch on Saturday and does not deserve to be dropped.
Jamie Ward will once again miss but will be in contention for a return this Saturday.
Shaun Barker is desperate to do the double over his teams arch rivals:
"It is a really exciting game to play in and we have all got our fingers crossed that we can get a win over Forest and get the double over them this season. We just hope that we give the 32,000-33,000 supporters at Pride Park something to cheer about come the end of the game because for those fans, for this club and this division, it is massive.”
"It is a big game regardless of whether you've won, lost or drawn the game - but to get the double would be a big, huge achievement. We know how disappointing it was last season when they did it to us, so it would be nice to turn the tables and hopefully our time will come.”
"We have progressed a lot this season and the young lads that have come in have really stepped up to the plate. It would be nice at the end of the season for the this team to say that they have recorded two wins over Nottingham Forest - and it would certainly give something for the fans to cheer about."
"It is so strange because we had been keeping clean sheets for fun and we couldn't see where we were next going to concede from. We were really tight, playing well, putting teams under pressure from the first whistle and now it has just swung to the opposite direction.”
"But we have to learn from it and we need to make sure we start well against Forest; they are going to be full of confidence following their win over Millwall. It is all about how we start the game and if we settle quickly then we have got a chance of beating them twice this season."
George Elokobi and Paul Anderson will be tested before the match and may find a seat on the bench after both have missed recent matches.
With few injuries and a sharp upturn in form – Steve Cotterill finds himself in a much better position than when the fixture was originally scheduled over a month ago.
Steve Coterill believes his resurgent team will trouble many teams in the run home:
"We have won three, drawn one and lost one in the last five, which is not too bad, we are five points clear now, but we do not want to look too much at that because we have some tough games coming up.”
"I do have a rough idea of the kind of points total we will need to keep us up and that will take us a little bit closer to it. If someone had said to me a few weeks ago that we would have gone on this run, winning three, drawing one and losing one, we would absolutely have taken that.”
"But we need to keep things going. We need to stay focused but now we can look forward to a good game against Derby. We will go there with confidence but not arrogance."
Forest Player To Watch:
Danny Higginbotham –
Every Rams fan must have groaned on hearing he had signed for Forest last month. The fact he scored for Forest last weekend makes it even more worrying.
Danny was a popular player in his time at the Rams but expect that to be erased as he turns up in a red shirt. The ironic thing is - come the end of the match - Tyson could be a Rams hero while Higginbotham becomes a villain.
Didn’t see that coming!!
Daniel J’s Match Preview:
There are rarely bigger matches marked on a Rams fans season calendar than the two clashes with Forest. What makes it even more special is Derby could do the double over their arch enemy for the first time since 1971/72.
That season a certain Brian Clough was in charge and I am sure Nigel would like to match another of his old mans records!
Besides that fact is there are 3 reasons why the Rams need to win this clash:
The Rams need to arrest their stuttering form and ensure they come home with a wet sail for a top half / top ten finish to prove they are headed in the right direction. Beating last seasons points tally is one thing but it is also in the manner you do it.
When this game was originally fixtured the Rams were in touch with the top 6 and in just over a month that dream has slipped away with mid-table obscurity the best we can hope for. Doing the double, will take away some of the disappointment born from twice this season, not capitalising on good form and table position.
Derby must win against teams rooted to the bottom of the table as they did against Coventry. Even if it proves to be a scrap the team must find a way to claim victory.
If the Rams are going to genuinely move forward, winning games such as this, no matter who they are against, is a must to prove they have truly turned the corner. They must stop the Tree’s recent upturn in form and prove they are well ahead of their local rivals.
We must beat and humiliate Forest at every opportunity.
Reasons to win aside, it will be interesting to see if Nigel hands Nathan Tyson a start after he has done little to impress in recent games.
In February this game was seen as a chance for him to shine in the brightest fashion for Rams fans. If given the chance, Tyson will be looking to prove to both his former employers and Rams fans, who to date think he has a permanent bed in the sick bay, that he can deliver.
It will be interesting to see what combination Clough goes for in midfield as growing pressure builds due to the inept performances of Spurs loan signing Tom Carroll. Fans would like to see the reliable James Bailey back in the starting line up but if the deal is that the boy must play, we all may be hoping in vain.
Forest has little to lose (except the match) and with their current run of decent form will be expected to throw everything at the Rams. If instead they sit back and try and hold on, it could get messy.
Derby on the other hand will be hoping to make up for their poor display on Saturday and fire from the outset rather than be trying to play catch up once again.
The importance of the match cannot go unnoticed by players, especially when playing to a sell out crowd, no matter how much managers and coaches try to say it is ‘just another 3 points’.
If the league table is used to select the winner then the Rams have it won but recent matches would have you lean towards Forest. One thing is for sure, in these matches any statistics and form can go out the window.
For me it’s the Rams in a canter against a side that have got used to losing and are likely to be nervous from the outset with the double hanging over their head. If the home team can get going and not concede early then the Rams should get the points.
Daniel.J’s Score Prediction:
The Rams to do the double over Forest for the first time since 71/72.
Derby 2 – 1 Forest
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