Sky Sports EFL pundit David Prutton has issued his verdict for tonight’s East Midlands derby, predicting that Derby County and Nottingham Forest will draw 2-2 at Pride Park.
Both sides head into the game on the back of a recent upturn in form that has put some distance between themselves and the bottom three.
The Rams have won six of their last eight, including sweeping past Huddersfield Town in midweek, while Forest have four victories from their last six and beat a tricky Rotherham United team 1-0 on Tuesday evening.
The two sides were forced to share the spoils when they met back at the City Ground in October and, on the Sky Sports website, Prutton has predicted the same result this evening, suggesting it will finish 2-2.
He explained: “Derby and Nottingham Forest will be relieved they are going into a game of this magnitude with a bit of breathing space above the bottom three.
“Both sides would have wanted infinitely better from this season, but they are where they are. It’s as even a match-up going into this one as you could possibly wish for. So I will go for a draw.”
That result could see the Reds move into the top half of the table, while two points back from them Derby could go nine points clear of the relegation zone.
Chris Hughton’s options look set to be limited with Lewis Grabban, Scott McKenna, and Harry Arter out injured, but both Sammy Ameobi and Samba Sow have recovered from injuries and should be in contention.
In the Derby dugout, Wayne Rooney faces similar issues with long-term injuries keeping Curtis Davies and Kristian Bielik out, while Jack Stretton, Tom Lawrence, and Jordon Ibe are also absent.
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This looks set to be an enthralling East Midlands derby, with both sides coming into the game high in confidence on the back of their strong recent form.
Games between these two clubs have provided some real entertainment value over the years and this one looks set to be no different.
It’s no surprise to see Prutton opt for a draw because there is very little to choose from between Forest and Derby, it could all be down to a moment of derby day brilliance or madness.