Date:Thursday January 22 2009
Ever since the draw for the 4th round of the FA Cup was made on Jan 4, fans of both Forest and Derby have been chomping at the bit for this game to come round. There's no love lost between either set of supporters and not that it needs it, but this game has taken on added significance and importance with the recent managerial appointments at both clubs'.
Nigel Clough was a City Ground legend once, but he now waves the flag for our fiercest rivals Derby. The gloves will be off and the same will no doubt apply to Billy Davies, despite his achievement in getting the Sheep to the Premier League. Add to the mix, the Commons and Earnshaw factors and you have all the ingredients for a feisty affair.
The Reds' will be well backed by an army of just over 5,000 fans roaring them on and they would have taken double that if the tickets were available. For those who don't have a ticket, the game will be shown live on Setanta Sports, 7.45pm.
In Clough's first two games in charge, he's tasted defeat in both. Last time out they lost 4-2 to Man Utd in the Carling Cup on Wednesday night and previous to that they went down 2-0 at home to QPR in the League. It's not been the best of weeks' for Nigel.
The Super Reds' on the other hand are riding high since the arrival of Billy the scruff. His two games in charge, have brought about two victories. We're a changed side under Billy's stewardship, but this is the FA Cup and anything can happen.
The last game between the two sides back in November, was a pretty dour affair bar the last few minutes, when it really livened up. Referee Stuart Attwell was the star of the show after he endeared himself to every Red on the planet with a stirling performance. He disallowed not one, but two goals from the Rams and awarded a penalty. Good old Stu, we love him in Notts. It wasn't all good for Forest though in the 1-1 draw at Prideless, because our Stu forgot where his loyalties lay momentarilly, when he sent off McGugan 17 minutes before the end.
Davies has no fresh injury worries ahead of the game, but his counterpart will have a few concerns after the game at Old Trafford. Davies and Todd are doubts, but Clough will wait until the last minute in deciding if they'll be fit in time for the game.
Although the result is a tough one to call, Forest fans are in an unusually upbeat mood at the moment. I'm going for a 3-1 win for the Red Dogs and the return of the Brian Clough Trophy to it's rightful home. I think it would be fitting, to have Nige present the trophy to King Billy at the end. That would be a nice touch. There's also the small matter of the prize money. £100,000 to the winners is not to be sniffed at. We'll have that as well, ta very much.
Date:Thursday January 22 2009
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