CONFIRMED: Nottingham Forest vs Derby County line-ups - Liverpool loanee on the bench!

Nottingham Forest 2

Here is how Nottingham Forest and Derby County will line-up for this afternoon’s match at The City Ground...

Nottingham Forest starting XI: Darlow; Hunt, Mancienne, Hobbs, Lichaj; Reid, Cohen, Lansbury; Burke, Assombalonga, Antonio

Subs: de Vries, Wilson, Fox, Veldwijk, Paterson, Tesche, Osborn

Derby County starting XI: Grant; Shotton, Buxton, Keogh, Forsyth; Bryson, Eustace, Hughes; Dawkins, Martin, Russell

Subs: Christie, Whitbread, Roos, Calero, Best, Mascarell, Ibe

Nottingham Forest and Derby County renew their East Midlands rivalry today as the two sides meet at The City Ground at 1:15pm.

Stuart Pearce's Forest head into the game in great form having taken 13 points from a possible 15 - which has handed them top spot in the Championship at this early stage of the season. Their summer spending saw the likes of Jack Hunt, Michael Mancienne, Chris Burke, Michail Antonio, Matty Fryatt and Britt Assombalonga arrive, and it has certainly paid dividends so far after four wins and one draw.

Pearce has once again gone with Assombalonga as the lone front man today, but the former Peterborough United star will be supported from wide areas by Burke and Antonio, whilst former Arsenal midfielder Henri Lansbury will also be expected to get forward and support the attack.

Meanwhile, Derby will be looking to go one better than last season, which saw them lose out to Queens Park Rangers in the playoff final. Manager Steve McClaren had an unsuccessful stint in charge of Forest in 2011 and returns to The City Ground in search of three points to kickstart the Rams season, which has so far seen them take eight points from their first five games.

County are without forward Jamie Ward after he suffered a hamstring injury on international duty for Northern Ireland, meaning ex-Tottenham winger Simon Dawkins comes into the side. That leaves Liverpool loanee Jordon Ibe to make do with a place on the bench - though he's quite the impact substitute if McClaren needs him late on in the game.

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