Forest pinch late success
Lewis Grabban snatched victory at the death for Nottingham Forest as they returned to winning ways in the Championship last weekend with a vital 1-0 success away at Millwall. In the closing minutes, the front man slotted home to clinch an important three points, following successive defeats in the league at the back end of 2021.
After an excellent effort against Arsenal in the FA Cup, it was a case of after the Lord Mayor's Show for the Tricky Trees in the first half. Steve Cooper's charges were put under pressure, with the visitors struggling to get a grip on the game. However, Forest improved immeasurably after the interval before pinching top honours late on.
Speaking post-match, Cooper was delighted by his team's fighting spirit. He said, "We didn't start the game so well. But on the half hour, we started to settle. I think we had over 20 shots in the second half - on the basis of chances created, I thought we were good for it. I'm just glad one went in in the end. We were never going to settle for a draw."
Derby defying the odds
Derby boss Wayne Rooney said the Rams are "defying the odds" but still desperately need help off the pitch after their 2-0 victory over Sheffield United lifted his County side off the bottom of the Championship table. Tom Lawrence's second-half double secured the points, a day after the EFL imposed a second transfer embargo in 12 months on the club.
The win - a year to the day since Rooney took permanent charge - lifted Derby above Barnsley on goal difference, despite the Rams having had 21 points deducted this season. But the subsequent transfer embargo has meant the Rams could not re-sign defender Phil Jagielka and have since lost midfielder Graeme Shinnie, leaving County short of personnel.
Rooney said, "We are picking up some incredible wins, we've come off the bottom of the table, so we need help, and whoever that is (from) needs to ensure they get this resolved as soon as possible. I don't even know what group of players I'm going to have for next week but I can tell you I will get the team ready and prepared for a local derby."
Nottingham Forest have suffered a solitary reverse in the last 11 East Midlands derby dates with Derby (W3-D7-L1), silencing the Rams in five of their most recent nine meetings. The Tricky Trees are also unbeaten in their most recent eight encounters with their bitter rivals at the City Ground (W4-D4-L0), keeping five clean sheets in that sample, since 2012.
Nottingham Forest 2.021/1 picked up a solitary point from their opening seven games this season yet the Reds have since boasted an impressive W10-D6-L3 record, including W4-D3-L2 as hosts. The improvement under Steve Cooper has brought the Tricky Trees to within reach of the play-off positions, only twice conceding multiple goals in 19 league dates.
Despite enduring a disastrous off-field campaign, Derby 4.03/1 have continued to produce sterling defensive displays that have caused almost every opponent issues. County have lost just seven league games in 2021/22 - only once by a margin of two goals or more - and have shipped the fourth-fewest goals. The Rams have W4-D1-L0 in their most recent five fixtures.
11 of the past 13 East Midlands derbies have featured Under 2.5 Goals 1.574/7 - the most recent eight league meetings have produced a total of only 10 goals - and a low-scoring repeat could be on the cards again on Saturday afternoon considering the data produced from both camps across their 2021/22 encounters.
With that in mind, it may pay to support Under 2.5 Goals and the Draw at 3.43 via the Sportsbook, an appealing option considering the tightly-contested affair this contest tends to be. Derby (11) top the draw count in the Championship this season, whilst this wager has paid out in each of the last four renewals, as well six of the past nine head-to-heads.