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Nottingham Forest season v Derby season: Two teams at different stages of a project



Gary Rowett is producing results at Derby while Aitor Karanka is just starting.

Derby are currently in sixth with a play-off finish being highly likely because it is in their own hands, whereas, Forest will be finishing in the bottom half of the table. However, Forest have changed managers during this season with Karanka coming in for Mark Warburton in January. Although he has had mixed success since coming in with five wins and six draws in 19 games.

The Rams dominate the statistics with the ones they are losing in more based on the differences in style between the two sides rather than anything else. An average of 1.5 goals per game has allowed their defensive style to work because they can grind out wins. In contrast, Forest have struggled with just 1.1 goals per game even though they have some exciting forward talents.

As said above, Forest usually have a bigger share of possession and are more accurate with their passing. However, Derby prioritise moving forward quickly with rapid transitions being their ideal form of attack, so they don’t need to dominate in either of these areas. Karanka likes his side to control the game by dominating possession.

Interestingly, Forest have a poor disciplinary record which shows the experience of Derby’s defence because they don’t give away sloppy fouls and pick up needless cards.

The main difference between the sides is that Derby are simply harder to beat with only 11 losses while Forest fluctuate significantly with little room inbetween because they only have eight draws. Karanka has to address their issues in this regard for them to improve, so they can gradually pick up points throughout a full season even if some of them are draws.