Nottingham Forest v Derby County: PHOTO:

( — Bitter rivals Nottingham Forest and Derby County go head-to-head in this afternoon’s East Midlands derby at The City Ground and both teams are looking to collect three points.

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“This game means a lot to the supporters but it also means a lot to us as well,” Forest manager manager Stuart Pearce said on the club’s official website.
“We want to hold onto our place at the top of the table going into Sunday evening.”

Forest are unchanged from the side that beat Sheffield Wednesday the last time out, with midfielder Henri Lansbury recovering from a knee injury to start.

However, Pearce won’t have Jamaal Lascelles, who will not be involved, despite also recovering from a knee problem.

Derby will be without midfielder Jamie Ward, who is not fit enough after he suffered a hamstring injury on international duty with the Northern Ireland national team during the international break.

Manager Steve McClaren made three adjustments to the team that drew 1-1 at home to Ipswich last time out, with Simon Dawkins, Ryan Shotton and Will Hughes all coming into the starting XI for the travellers.

Ward, Cyrus Christie and Jeff Hendrick are the ones making way.

Defender Jake Buxton is back from a hip injury and starts.

Nottingham Forest leads the Championship table standings with 13 points, five more points than Derby, who are 12th on eight-points.

Nottingham Forest team: Darlow, Lichaj, Mancienne, Hobbs, Hunt, Burke, Cohen, Lansbury, Reid, Antonio, Assombalonga. Subs: De Vries, Wilson, Fox, Veldwijk, Paterson, Tesche, Osborn.

Derby team: Grant, Forsyth, Bryson, Buxton, Keogh, Dawkins, Martin, Russell, Eustace, Hughes, Shotton. Subs: Roos, Christie, Whitbread, Calero, Best, Mascarell, Ibe.


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