Blogs & Opinion


Peter Beagrie:

Most Popular Posts:

Recent Comments:

Gary Bennett on Reading crashers

"Leeds have thrown away too many games this season with our dodgy defence conceding too many soft goals.Scoring goals has not been a problem and i think the play offs are still there to ... " View all comments

Derby v Nottingham Forest: Craig Bryson and Jamie Paterson to make big impacts on Saturday

Peter Beagrie - Peter Beagrie Posted 18th March 2014 view comments

What a treat lies in store for us in Saturday's lunchtime kick-off as East Midlands rivalries are renewed when third-placed Derby host sixth-placed Nottingham Forest.

Derby's inability to score in their previous four games - despite still creating ample opportunities to bulge the net - looks like it has put paid to their automatic-promotion chances.

Bry and mighty: Derby midfielder Bryson has bundles of energy and quality

Bry and mighty: Derby midfielder Bryson has bundles of energy and quality

But the brilliant run they went on from November 9 to January 1, when they took 25 points out of 27 before being beaten by Wigan, has guaranteed them a play-off berth.

However, Forest's paltry return of three points from the last 18 available has seen Wigan leapfrog them and Reading and Brighton close the gap to a solitary point, threatening a top-six place that after a 14-game unbeaten run looked nailed on.

Billy Davies' side have been affected by their manager's touchline ban and the £17million losses don't make for good reading either, so while Forest were swimming along quite nicely, there are now a few ripples in the water and the smiles have been replaced by furrowed brows.

That makes this derby game a bigger one for the visitors, but here are the men I expect to play a major part in proceedings...

DERBY

Chris Martin

Chris' 18 goals tell only half the story of the major role he has played in Derby's marvellous season as he is the building block from which many moves start. Clever, strong and with a good turn of pace, Martin has shown maturity and teamwork this campaign, which were missing in the earlier stages of his career.

Good balance and movement, a physical presence and, finally, high fitness levels mean all aspects of Chris' game pose a threat to back fours and with him holding that central position, Steve McClaren can employ two quick widemen to player either side or play Patrick Bamford up top in a two. Simon Dawkins, Johnny Russell, Jamie Ward and Bamford are often rotated but Martin's performances have made him an almost guaranteed starter.

Craig Bryson

Perpetual motion is how I would describe County's midfield dynamo. Non-stop, all-action performances have been abundant this season and he has been directly responsible for at least 19 goals, either by scoring or putting them on a plate for his team-mates. Often the Rams' match-winner, Craig is clever enough to time runs beyond strikers, choosing them carefully for maximum impact.

Richard Keogh

Keogh has been a tower of strength and model of consistency this term. He has responded brilliantly to being handed the armband in the absence of Shaun Barker, is a great competitor, communicator and leader, and has formed a formidable partnership with Jake Buxton, which has allowed the midfield to go forward at will and in numbers.

NOTT'M FOREST

Jamie Paterson

This talented young winger caught my eye playing for Walsall - for lots of reasons. He is totally two-footed and is able to go either way, has great balance and dribbling ability, and, since becoming a regular in the side, has become Forest's main threat in the final third.

Paterson's recent performances have shown a huge level of consistency and confidence, enabling him to express himself. Bright enough to go looking for the ball and come in off the line, his tendency to back people into the box has only strengthened my belief that this lad has a big future.

Karl Darlow

The youngster succeeded Lee Camp as Forest number one in January 2013, with his full debut a 2-1 win over Peterborough. He has become a virtual ever-present since, keeping three consecutive clean sheets at the beginning of the season, reinforcing his manager's belief in him. Darlow is a very confident young man who commands his box, has good distribution and agility, and is a great shot stopper - and against a Derby side shorn of goals recently, he could be vastly overworked.

Andy Reid

Forest are delighted to have their joint-top scorer back from injury as he is a chief architect from set-pieces and in open play. The man with a wand for a left foot has been responsible for 10 goals in all competitions and 13 assists, and has the ability to dictate the pace of play in any game. He is a big-match player, vastly experienced and could be a pivotal character in a potentially volatile fixture.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

Bale dismisses United link

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale says he cannot see himself making a world-record move to Manchester United.

Henry: Costa crossed the line

Sky Sports pundits Thierry Henry and Jamie Redknapp feel Diego Costa crossed the line in Chelsea's win over Liverpool.

Live transfer updates

Rolling news as Gareth Bale discusses Manchester United rumours and Crystal Palace enter talks for Jordon Mutch.

Costa's fate in hands of referee

Referee Michael Oliver will have the final say on whether Diego Costa is banned for this weekend's game against Manchester City.

Paper Talk: Arsenal's Suarez bid

A look at the big football stories making the back pages as Arsenal are linked with a summer bid for Luis Suarez.

Features

Title contenders A to Z: What sets Chelsea and Man City apart in the Premier League?

Title contenders A to Z: What sets Chelsea and Man City apart in the Premier League?

In a four-part series, we look at the reasons why Chelsea and Man City have stolen a march on their rivals in the title race...

The Art of Scouting - Episode One, An Introduction to Scouting

The Art of Scouting - Episode One, An Introduction to Scouting

During the transfer window, every football fan has had a view on who their club sign - but it is the scouts who spark every deal, from multi-million pound purchases to short-term loan deals.

Capital One Cup: Five questions to emerge from Chelsea’s semi-final win over Liverpool at Stamford Bridge

Capital One Cup: Five questions to emerge from Chelsea’s semi-final win over Liverpool at Stamford Bridge

Branislav Ivanovic’s extra-time header proved the difference as Chelsea beat Liverpool 1-0 in their Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.