Football Tips: The 3 best bets as Derby host rivals Nottingham Forest

Our tipster Colin Harvey pieces together the jigsaw that is this East Midlands derby.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

Nottingham Forest and Derby are two grand old clubs who found themselves in a right mess at the half-way stage of the season. Both were staring down the barrel of a relegation to the third tier but their fortunes have improved markedly since the start of 2021.

They’re both still at the wrong end of the table, but it looks like midtable finishes rather than a relegation dogfights are on the cards for the these two great rivals now. Forest are up to 16th while County have risen to 18th.

Friday 7.45pm: Derby v Nottingham Forest
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That doesn’t seem impressive in any way, shape or form for two sides who were challenging for the playoffs last season, but at the turn of the year they had eight wins between them. Since then they’ve amassed a further 12 victories in just two months.

Their current predicaments are a far cry from Old Big Head’s glory years, but winning the Brian Clough Trophy would go some way to further solidifying either’s Championship status. Here’s your best bets for Friday night’s main event.

Chris Hughton

The Draw

When all is said and done, this is a clash between two teams in pretty good form. Wayne Rooney’s side have won six and lost two in their last eight while Chris Hughton’s Tricky Trees have won six of their last 10, drawing two and losing two. Forest, Friday’s visitors, have actually been better away from home over that run while Derby’s two defeats have both come on the road.

The Rams have won four on the bounce at home and Forest have won four of their last five away. This is so tough to call.

We have to take into account that this is a local derby with bragging rights on the line and therefore I’m expecting a tight, cagey affair. To be fair it’s always tight and cagey when Forest take the pitch. Derby are a little more carefree. But not much.

I just can’t call this one either way. The handicap markets are not providing any answers either so, at a very nice price, I think The Draw┬áis the safest way to go in terms of a match result.

Under 1.5 Goals

The problem with these two is that they have contrasting lines of form in so many markets. Both Teams to Score has come off in three of Derby’s last five but none of Forest’s. Over 2.5 Goals has landed in four of Derby’s last five and just one of Forest’s over the same timeframe.

I have my suspicions that this will be a bit of a snooze fest and potentially a goalless draw. One thing that we can rely on is that fact that in these two’s last 10 combined games, seven have finished with winning margin of one goal or fewer. It just has to be tight and at a nice price it might be worth taking a chance on Under 1.5 Goals.

Both Teams To Score? No

By that logic we’re also looking at Both Teams To Score? No here. In Derby’s last five games at Pride Park BTTS? No has landed on four occasions. For Forest the numbers are identical when they board the team bus.

If Under 1.5 Goals feels too risky for your liking then this is the way to go. Although the price does leave a little to be desired, it’s for good reason as it feels the safest route in this minefield.

Tips for Derby v Forest on Friday

The Draw
Under 1.5 Goals
Both Teams To Score? No

* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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