Derby v Nottingham Forest preview: Championship clash live on Sky Sports Football
Last Updated: 15/10/17 12:29pm
Derby will be without the suspended Bradley Johnson when east midlands rivals Nottingham Forest visit Pride Park Stadium on Sunday.
Johnson received his fifth yellow card of the season during the goalless draw at Cardiff prior to the international break and the midfielder will serve a one-match ban. Rams boss Gary Rowett expects to have a full squad available but changes are expected to be kept to a minimum as Derby look for a first win in five Championship games.
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Rowett is spoilt for attacking options and has the likes of Chris Martin, Andreas Weimann, Matej Vydra and David Nugent all vying for a recall.
Forest, hoping for a first derby win in four attempts, could be boosted by the return of four players. Defender Matt Mills is available again after a one-match ban while midfielders David Vaughan and Matty Cash and forward Jamie Ward are training again following their respective injuries.
Ward in particular will be eager to be involved against his former club where he spent four-and-a-half years before switching to the Reds. Forest headed into the international break by halting a three-game losing run with victory against high-flying Sheffield United but the likes of Eric Lichaj, Barrie McKay, Ben Brereton and Andreas Bouchalakis are options for manager Mark Warburton should he wish to make any changes to his team.
This is the 101st meeting between these East Midlands rivals in all competitions, with Derby winning 37, Forest winning 39 and 24 ending as draws.
Forest have lost four of their last six league trips to Pride Park Stadium (W1 D1), including losing each of the last two without scoring a goal.
Derby haven't lost a league game (including play-offs) on a Sunday since May 2009, losing 3-1 to Watford.
The Rams have never lost to Forest on a Sunday (W2 D3) and won 3-0 in this exact fixture last season.
Matej Vydra has scored eight goals in seven league matches against Nottingham Forest - at least four more than he's scored against any other club in the Football League.
In 2017, Daryl Murphy has completed 90 minutes in just nine league games - the Irishman has scored seven goals in those matches.
It's as nicely balanced a game as we could have wished for. Both sides have shown inconsistency so far this season, and it's a good chance for either to lay down a marker and try and get on a run, which they're both in desperate need of.
The Derby fans will be in full voice and Forest will also travel in good numbers. It'll make for a real test of the players' nerves and their mental state, as any big derby game is. It will be open, but I can't split the two.
Prutton predicts: 2-2 with Daryl Murphy to score first (75/1 with Sky Bet)