For Derby, the East Midlands Derby couldn’t have came at a worse time after two defeats on the bounce for the Rams. Whereas Forest fans are enjoying the new O’Neill regime as his revitalised side have produced two wins in two home games.
Nottingham Forest v Derby County
Monday 25th February, 19:45
The City Ground
Forest are unbeaten in three matches under O’Neill having drawn the last two matches away from home. It can be argued that Forest are a different beast when they play at home recently. They have claimed two wins in two home games under new boss Martin O’Neill. Over the season as a whole, Forest have been stronger when they play at home than they have been away as they have picked up eight wins from sixteen home matches compared to picking up on three wins in seventeen away games.
Nottingham have certainly produced mixed performances in the six matches that Martin O’Neill has taken control of. They’ve won two, drew two and lost two home and away since the middle of January. The old Ireland boss seems to have put them on the right track as the home side had only managed one win in their last eight games under previous boss Aitor Karanka. There has been a new feeling around the City Ground with Nottingham showing they can come away with good results against stronger sides. Forest drew 0-0 with Preston who have built Deepdale into a fortress recently. Also they were able to pick up a 2-2 draw against West Brom and a 2-1 win against Brentford.
Forest’s success at home this season can be accredited to the side’s ability to score more goals than they concede, which fundamentally has allowed them to pick up more wins than draws and defeats. When playing at home, Forest have scored twenty-two (1.65 goals per game) in 16 matches and conceded only fifteen in those matches (0.88 goals per game). Forest have only failed to score in four matches at home this season, with 50% of matches at home ending with both teams scoring.
Derby County are desperate for a win to kick start their promotion push which has stalled of late. They will find it hard against a revitalised Forest side who are picking up good results against hard to beat sides in the League. Lampard’s side are on a winless run of three matches home and away, with last away win, in the league, coming in late December against Norwich.
A reason for Derby’s vulnerability when on the road comes from the fact they struggle to keep goals out. In sixteen away matches, only 13% of them have ended with Derby picking up a clean sheet. On average the away side concede around 1.31 goals per game but they average the same amount of goals scored which makes them susceptible to picking up losses and draws which hinders their prospects for promotion from the league.
Currently Derby have picked up six away wins and six away losses in sixteen matches, which alludes to a very inconsistent showing when playing away from Pride Park. Eleven matches out of sixteen have ended with both teams getting on the scoresheet. Derby rarely fail to score in away matches with there only being four occasions over sixteen games where this has occurred.
Missing the East-Midland Derby for Forest will be Guedioura and Soudani but they have been without the duo for quite sometime so O’Neill will be used to their absences. Derby have key players missing out on the match. Marcus Olsson, Curtis Davies and Craig Forsyth have been ruled out to due to long term injuries. Attacking midfielder, Mason Mount will also miss out after picking up an injury against Accrington Stanley in the FA Cup in January.
There are multiple players walking a disciplinary tightrope on both sides. Tom Huddlestone and Duane Holmes are currently on four bookings and if they pick up another they will be suspended for their next match away to Aston Villa. Both Claudio Yacob and Joe Lolley will be suspended for Forest’s next match against Stoke City at the Britannia.
The bookies have made Forest slight favourites in this tie as they have gave them 7/5 odds to come away with the win in the East Midlands Derby. For the Rams to get the win the bookies will give you odds of around 15/8. I would agree with the bookies as I feel that this match has came at the wrong time for Derby County as they are on a winless run and have been poor when playing away from home.
With Derby conceding on average a goal per away game, I feel that Forest will take advantage of Derby’s poor defending and score multiple goals. Derby have shown they can score as well so I feel there would be value in the both teams to score market. For both teams to score you can get odds of 3/4, for Forest to win and both teams to score it is 7/2.
To take away the risk of relying on both teams to score, the Over and Under goal market is a good route to explore. For over 2.5 goals to be scored in the match you can get odds of evens. For over 2.5 goals to be scored and Forest to win, you can get odds of 3/1.
Nottingham Forest to win (7/5)
Both teams to score (3/4)
Nottingham Forest to win and Over 2.5 goals (3/1)