Derby v Nottingham Forest Monday December 17, 19:45 Live on Sky Sports Football
Derby move into the top-six
Jack Marriott's first-half header was enough to secure three points for Derby at 10-man Wigan last weekend. The summer signing, back in the team after a foot injury, headed in Jayden Bogle's cross to secure the points for County against a Latics outfit that saw Kal Naismith sent off after just 15 minutes of action.
Harry Wilson saw an effort cleared off the line but was fortunate to escape a second yellow for driving shortly after the hour mark. The Welsh international was substituted soon after as Derby came under pressure in the final quarter with Wigan seeing a goal ruled out for offside.
Boss Frank Lampard admitted it was "tough and it shouldn't have been that way" after an encouraging first 45 minutes. Victory moved the Rams into the top-six and they come into Monday's meeting with Joe Ledley and George Evans potentially back in the squad. However, Curtis Davies, Bradley Johnson, Marcus Olsson, Craig Forsyth and Mason Bennett are unavailable.
Nottingham Forest fall to rare defeat
Nottingham Forest saw their seven-game unbeaten streak ended at home to Preston last time out. Having scored nine goals in their previous three encounters, the Tricky Tress were kept at bay by Preston goalkeeper Declan Rudd as they fell to a 1-0 reverse at the City Ground.
Aitor Karanka's side missed several opportunities to score with Tendayi Darikwa, Joe Lolley and Daryl Murphy all being denied, Matty Cash firing wide, whilst Preston sub Lukas Nmecha almost scored an own goal when his looping clearance landed on the roof of his own net.
Karanka was frustrated by the result, bemoaning that Forest "should have been winning 2-0 or 3-0 by half time, if not by more." The visitors make the short journey with Danny Fox and Michael Dawson considered major doubts, whilst Tobias Figueiredo is still suspended. Sam Byram and Hilal Soudani are confirmed absentees.
Honours even at Pride Park
Derby and Nottingham Forest are meeting for the 93rd East Midlands derby on Monday with the Rams unbeaten in each of their last five (W3-D2-L0) against their Reds' rivals. The hosts have won their last three Pride Park meetings with the Tricky Trees by an aggregate score of 6-0 and are 2.06 to succeed here.
Frank Lampard's troops have delivered W6-D1-L2 since the October international break and have been beaten once in their most recent nine outings on home soil (W6-D2-L1). County are enjoying a 57% Expected Goals ratio at Pride Park this season, winning the xG count in seven of their 10 home tussles.
Nottingham Forest 3.90 have suffered a sole reverse in eight (W4-D3-L1) and have been beaten in only three of their 21 Championship contests. The guests have lost once on the road and returned from all five trips to current top-half teams unbeaten (W1-D4-L0). Such resilience should stand them in good stead.
No second-tier team has drawn more often than the Reds (10) and a repeat stalemate3.55could be on the cards between two well-matched sides. Three of the past eight head-to-heads ended all-square with just two of those ties settled by a margin of two goals or more.
Oppose both sides scoring
Only three of the last 10 meetings have produced profitable Both Teams To Score wagers and opposing both sides scoring may appeal at 2.00. Although the pair have collectively notched in 35/42 (83%) Championship fixtures this term, 22/42 (52%) of those matches saw the duo score fewer than two goals.
Derby dates tend to be tight affairs and Karanka is renowned for his defensive organisation, which has led the visitors to nine (43%) clean sheets already this campaign. This season's stats don't necessarily support a view of opposing goals, although neither team is particularly excelling in the attacking third.
Ten of the Rams' goals in 2018/19 have arrived via shots outside the penalty area, whilst the hosts are registering just 0.81 xG from open play per-game - joint-14th in the division. Forest stand at 0.89 in the same metric, whilst both feature in the top-10 for least xG conceded from open play.