Championship Preview: Rams seek double over fierce rival
The East Midlands derby between Derby and Nottingham Forest has always been full of passion. However, with both teams fighting for promotion this season, the importance of Saturday’s game has increased.
We look ahead to the this match, the other standout games and the players to watch this week in the Championship.
MATCH OF THE WEEK
Derby v Nottingham Forest
Derby will be looking to get another victory over their fiercest rivals, after an impressive 1-0 victory earlier this season in the reverse fixture at The City Ground.
They head into this fixture, having taken just four points from their last four league games. However they are still only six points off the play-offs.
They now have two home games on the trot in the league to try and close the gap on sixth-placed Watford.
Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest currently sit in ninth. Alex McLeish secured his first victory in charge last time out as they took all three points against Peterborough. The play-offs are just three points away for Forest.
OTHER NOTABLE MATCHES
Leicester v Middlesbrough- Leicester have won their last two league matches scoring 10 goals in the process, whereas Middlesbrough will be looking to bounce back from two league defeats on the bounce. Both have 47 points, just two behind second-placed Hull City.
Millwall v Burnley- Both sit just outside the play-off places. Millwall are two points behind sixth-placed Watford whereas Burnley are four points behind. Burnley have won three of their last four league matches including an impressive victory against Crystal Palace last time out. Millwall have taken four points from the last six.
MANAGER TO WATCH
At the beginning of the season, Crystal Palace found themselves at the top of the league and playing extremely well under Dougie Freedman. However Bolton, after parting company with Owen Coyle, managed to poach Freedman. This weekend he returns to face his former employers.
Things haven’t turned out as Freedman would have hoped, given that Bolton sit in sixteenth position eight points above the relegation places. Their form is extremely inconsistent having taken four points from their last five league games.
Meanwhile, Palace currently lie in fourth just two points off the automatic promotion places.
Freedman will be hoping to return to Selhurst Park and prove that he made the right decision with a strong performance against his former club.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Previously mentioned in this section when he was on-loan at Millwall, Wood has since completed a permanent move to Leicester City and seems to be scoring even more goals.
The front man is averaging two goals a game for the Foxes, having scored six goals in three appearances in all competitions. This includes a first-half hat-trick last weekend away at Bristol City. He has now scored 16 times in the league this season in just 22 appearances.
He is profiting from the excellent service provided to him at the King Power Stadium by the likes of Ben Marshall, Matty James and Anthony Knockaert.
Leicester face Middlesbrough at home before another home game against Wolves at the end of the month. Wood will look to fire the Foxes into the automatic promotion places which are just two points away.
Friday 18th January 2013
Leicester v Middlesbrough7.45pm
Saturday 19th January 2013
Derby v Nottingham Forest 1pm
Birmingham v Brighton 3pm
Blackburn v Charlton 3pm
Crystal Palace v Bolton 3pm
Ipswich v Barnsley 3pm
Leeds United v Bristol City 3pm
Millwall v Burnley 3pm
Peterborough v Hull 3pm
Sheff Wed v Wolves 3pm
Watford v Huddersfield 3pm
Blackpool v Cardiff 5.20pm
Tuesday 22nd January 2012
Blackburn v Brighton 7.45pmTagged in: championship, derby, East Midlands, football, Nottingham Forest, Rams
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