Anticipation builds ahead of Derby County v Nottingham Forest

Derby and Forest will go head to head once again in the East Midlands Derby at Pride Park.
Derby and Forest will go head to head once again in the East Midlands Derby at Pride Park.

Derby County and Nottingham Forest will go head-to-head at Pride Park on Monday night in one of the most eagerly-anticipated East Midlands derbies for some time.

Both sides are currently challenging for at least a play-off spot in the Sky Bet Championship having enjoyed positive campaigns so far.

Forest were beaten 1-0 by Preston North End last weekend to suffer a blow to their hopes ahead of the big game, but defender Michael Hefele is confident his side can bounce back.

He said: “You never want to lose, it is never a great feeling but we just have to bounce back next week.

“We knew it was a good opportunity but we didn’t take this chance. But there are plenty of games coming up, the season is long. Today we can be disappointed but from tomorrow we bounce back.

“We are still in a great position. We know that we can win against every opponent and we have a strong squad but this is football.”

Derby, meanwhile, have won their last two league games, 2-1 at home to Swansea and then 1-0 at Wigan Athletic on Saturday, and currently lie in fourth place in the Championship standings.

And with the two sides sat so close together in the table with only three points separating them, Rams goalkeeper Scott Carson thinks that will add more spice to the occasion.

He said: “It’s always a massive game and at the minute ourselves and Forest are pretty high in the table.

“So, it will be a really good game. We’ve seen them this season and they are a much-improved side.”

Such is the close nature of the two sides, the bookies are finding it hard to split them but are slightly favouring the Rams.

Bet365 and Sky Bet both have them at 21/20 to win the game, with Ladbrokes, William Hill and several others offering evens. Betfair and Paddy Power are among those to rate the Rams odds on favourites at 10/11 and 5/6 respectively.

The odds on a draw tend to be 5/2 or 13/5 with most bookies, Marathon Bet offering the best odds on that outcome at 53/20.

As for Forest’s chances, they tend to hover around the 3/1 mark or below when it comes to how the bookies are fancying them, leaving a Forest win the most unlikely outcome of the three but still, as expected, very much a possibility and one the punters, perhaps aside from those of a Rams persuasion, may fancy taking on.