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Nic Ladds 22nd Jan 2009 - 12:56

Clough may struggle to battle Forest fire

Billy Davies is coming back to haunt Derby with his Nottingham Forest side who are 2/1 in the betting.

This Midlands Derby is going to be an absolute belter. With a host of sub-plots like Davies returning, a host of players having played for both clubs and the links Nigel Clough has to both teams past and present added to the intense rivalry between the fans and we are in for what should be a fantastic game.

Derby find themselves 7/5 favourites in the betting with the draw at 11/5 although recent form points to a cosy Forest victory.

The Rams have won once in nine league games although they have beaten Stoke and famously Manchester United in recent weeks while Forest at the moment can do no wrong.

They've won four in a row, including pummelling Manchester City 3-0 away from home and you can get 28/1 on Forest handing out the same beating to Derby.

Davies seems to have revitalised Forest and they are now above The Rams as both teams desperately fight relegation.

This should be a tight game with goals and 3-0 is an unlikely score line. Something along the lines up 3-1 at odds of 25/1 or 3-2 at 28/1 in Nottingham's favour look like decent wagers.

Derby are by no means out of this however and 2-1 to Derby is 9/1 and while both sides desperately won't want a replay it's definitely a possibility making 1-1 at 11/2 and 2-2 at 12/1 in the betting real possibilities.

Forest carry by far the most potent goal threat with Rob Earnshaw in cracking form at 6/1 for the first goal while Nathan Tyson and Joe Garner have both been scoring recently and are both 7/1 in the betting for the first goal.

For Derby, Rob Hulse carries the biggest threat but seems short at 11/2 for the first goal while Nathan Ellington is available at odds of 6/1.

Two brighter prospects are Kris Commons and Giles Barnes. Both scored against Man Utd in one of the legs and both like shooting from range and at 8/1 and 10/1 respectively for first goal.

Prices of 11/4 and 7/2 respectively for scoring anytime look the bets and both midfielders are preferred in this market to the two front men.

The argument that Derby will be tired after playing Man Utd should not be taken any notice of as this is one of the fiercest rivalries with a lot to play for so make no mistake every player will be up for the game.

Goals look likely but it will be tight so keeping along the train of thought that Forest will win, draw halftime/Nottingham Forest full time is the preferred double result at odds of 5/1.

The Rams' fans will do their best to make their local rivals feel unwelcome but it looks like Nigel Clough is about to find out just how tough management at the top level can be.

Nottingham Forest to win - 2/1
Robert Earnshaw to score the first goal - 6/1

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