Its Match day at the City Ground!
Live on Sky Sports and Kick off at 2:30pm.
So the pre-match nerves are now fully sinking in and the optimism starts to build as you frantically google what time the local Spoons opens, get the Mrs to put the bacon on and iron your Stone Island Jumper…….
Will we turn up today? Will we have something to cheer about? A few months ago I would have said no! I was actually considering not even turning up. (Ha, don’t be silly of course I was going to turn up! Its Derby at home!)
I went to Derby away earlier in the season and was not pleased with what i saw. It was like a library in the away end and I couldn’t see any desire in the team. All in all an unpleasant experience. To be honest its about time we had our day for a change!
Since that massive transfer window we had in January, that kept all us forest fans sitting up all night to see whether Michael Dawson was going to make his return to Trentside (no… just me then), there is more belief in the squad and they actually look like they can give some teams a good beating. Is this down to the competition for places? or just the fact that if they don’t want to play for the club, Aitor will have them out the front door!
So as i sit here in the famous Red, listening to Sky Sports News talking about Derby this and Derby that with no mention of Forest and refreshing my social media feed to see if any team news has been released. I actually feel quite good. I just hope they put up the fighting attitude that they have the last few weeks.
I’ve seen a lot of news leading up to today about injuries to the Derby squad and that they aren’t in form blah blah, this is a derby game and probably one of the biggest rivalries in English football, form can pretty much be thrown out the window. You can’t help but think that forest have got to be in the better frame of mind going into this today though.
It seems all to familiar seeing Derby stride towards promotion and then hit their traditional wobble at this point of the season with the wheels slightly falling off! We will look at knocking the wheels off just a little bit more this afternoon and put a dent in their run up for the play offs.
So Injuries and form concerns for Derby County, they will be without Joe Ledley and George Thorne who both face 4 weeks out on the sideline. The Rams could also be without Tom Huddlestone,David Nugent and Cameron Jerome for the game today.
We have seen it all before where managers say they have a slight pull and what not and they end up in the starting 11, so i wont believe anything until the team sheets are released later on today.
Over the last few years when we’ve played Derby, I’ve always come away saying the same thing “The Derby players actually hate us!” they actually WANT to beat us and send us home in a bad mood. That’s one thing we’ve lacked, hatred. You want to see the odd foot getting left in a tackle and players pushing each other around. Every time we’ve taken the game to Derby and got stuck in they haven’t liked it and they start to get a little angry and that’s what you want from them, you want them to lose their heads! Its a East Midlands Derby!
I say get stuck in…….. I’ve just had a quick look at who the Referee is going to be today. Jeremy Simpson will take charge and the lancashire official has dished out 137 bookings in 33 games so far this season, along with five red cards. He isn’t really the man you want when two rival teams are playing each other. You want a ref that’s going to let the odd tackle go and understand that it is an derby game and things are going to get a little heated. As long as the situations don’t get out of hand just let it go. Its really annoying when you cant even throw in a tackle nowadays, I think some officials have started to believe that football is a non contact sport.
So today I think we’ll line up the same way we did at Birmingham with the 4-5-1 Formation and Lee Tomlin slotting back in the midfield after missing the game at Norwich on Tuesday Night.
I don’t know why but I also have a funny feeling that Lichaj might line up at LB replacing Osborn. Why, i hear you ask? Well…. Ben Osborn has done well the last few weeks in the LB position but cut the story short he isn’t a defender and he has the legs to run about if we need him in the midfield later on in the game. so bringing Ben on in the 60-70th minute will give us that energy again in the centre when the game starts to slow down. We’ll see wont we, i might just be talking nonsense.
Now for Brereton, will he start? I’m not sure this time round, I think I’d probably go with Murphy or Vellios up top for the physicality of it all, Ben sometimes loses some of the battles he should be winning. Murphy and Vellios have that little bit more strength to hold of defenders and bring them midfielders into play. So yeah Id probably start one of those two today.
Below I’ve put my starting 11 Vs what I think the actually 11 might be today. Again I’ve started with Murphy up top just to give that little bit of extra strength and help bring the midfield in to play. I’ve also gone with Lichaj at LB just for the reasons I stated earlier.
So my prediction for today is going to be another draw – I’m going for a 1-1.
I’d like to think we’re going to steal a win out of them. Especially after the dodgy social media video they’ve released on twitter this week, if you haven’t seen them go have a look, it will probably brighten up your morning. ” The rams are coming” Behave!
Again let me know what you guys think I’m just talking nonsense or not or just shoot me a like or something. You can also follow me on Twitter by clicking here, And keep up to date with new blog posts.
Ill try and update this as we go along but phone signal will be permitting.
COME ON YOU REDS!