A report in The Mirror has issued bad news about the Reds defensive duo of Michael Dawson and Danny Fox ahead of Monday’s Championship trip to Pride Park.

Monday night will bring a real humdinger of a football clash to the East Midlands as Nottingham Forest head to their bitter rivals Derby County.

As far as pre-billing goes, this looks like it could be one of the fiercest and most evenly contested in recent years, with both the Reds and the Rams flying high in the Championship.

Aitor Karanka’s charges sit seventh in the table on 34 points, just two off the playoffs, while Frank Lampard’s boys are three points and places ahead in fourth and harbouring top-two hopes.

Lining up both sides from a statistical perspective in the league, there’s not that much to choose between them.

According to Whoscored, Forest have scored 32 goals, registered 11.9 efforts per game, boasted 51.8% possession and have a pass success rate of 75.3%.

Derby, meanwhile, have 31 goals from their 21 league games, 14.4 shots per match, 55.6% possession and a 78.8% pass success rate.

But one aspect that could severely impact the game is that of available personnel and, if a report in The Mirror is anything to go by, the Reds may have just suffered a huge blow.

A report on the outlet’s live blog from Wednesday 12 December (9:10pm) claims that centre-back Michael Dawson is expected to be out for up to six weeks with a hamstring injury.

Fellow defender Danny Fox, meanwhile, will reportedly miss up to three more weeks with a foot issue, on top of centre-back Tobias Figueiredo’s suspension.

If the report is true, it looks as though Karanka may have to once again field a makeshift defence as he did against Preston North End last time out.

Left-back Jack Robinson was at centre-back up alongside Michael Hefele, with midfielder Ben Osborn slotting in at left-back – could such a back line withstand Derby’s attack?

In other news, Report: Multiple PL clubs are all trying to sign 'brilliant' Tottenham player now