The playoffs will be on the minds of many at Pride Park on Saturday during the early kick off (12:30) between Derby County and Nottingham Forest.
Nottingham Forest sit in 4th with a 7-point buffer over Derby who sit a single point outside the final playoff spot in 7th.
This makes Saturday’s game hugely important to both sides. Being 7 points away from automatic promotion with 6 games remaining, the playoffs looks the more likely route for Forest to reach the premier league.
Derby have been in exceptional form, winning each of their last 5 league games, 3 of which have come after the season suspension. This sort of form will surely earn the Rams an opportunity for promotion through the playoffs, especially with Cardiff just a point ahead occupying the final playoff position.
Meanwhile, Forest have had mixed results from their last 5 games with 2 wins, 2 draws and a loss, however, with 7 points from 3 games post-suspension signs are encouraging at this important stage of the season. Similar performances should be enough to secure a playoff spot, but manager Sabri Lamouchi will be hoping to carry some momentum into the playoffs, so some wins would be more than welcome.
09/11/2019 Nottingham Forest 1-0 Derby County
25/02/2019 Nottingham Forest 1-0 Derby County
17/12/2018 Derby County 0-0 Nottingham Forest
Derby will continue without defender Andre Wisdom, who suffered a hugely concerning “unprovoked assault and robbery” whilst in Liverpool last week. He is expected to make a full recovery but will need time to recover according to manager Phillip Cocu. Tom Lawrence is also absent as he continues to serve his 3 match ban, whilst Craig Forsyth could replace the injured Jayden Boyle in defence.
Forest have two fitness concerns, with Matty Cash and Joe Lolley likely to face late fitness tests following injuries sustained against Bristol City in midweek. The Reds will be looking to top goalscorer Lewis Grabban to come up with the goods, he is currently sitting 3rd in the league with 19 league goals this season.
Past meetings do not suggest this will be a goal-fest, and with so much at stake for both teams, it could be a cagey affair.
Match Preview written by Will Edwards.