It’s the big one in the East Midlands on Monday night as Nottingham Forest face Derby County at the City Ground in the Championship.

Frank Lampard will bring his Rams side to Trentside looking to arrest some alarming form

Martin O’Neill, however, will sample his first taste of derby-day as the club’s manager.

Forest have been in decent form of late.

The Reds look to be getting used to how O’Neill wants them to play and are unbeaten in three.

But for some dodgy officiating Forest might be going into the game with Derby on the back of three straight wins.

It is four years since the Reds beat their fierce rivals and we looked at three keys towards Forest bucking the trend on Monday…

Stay disciplined

(Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Forest’s best chance of beating the Rams is with 11 players on the pitch.

The Reds have been woefully ill-disciplined this season and O’Neill will need to address that aspect.

It was a feisty affair at Pride Park back in December and Forest must remail level-headed as they prepare to face Derby.

Pick players on form

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Since he arrived at the City Ground, Martin O’Neill has set about learning about his squad.

Having now been in charge for over a month, he should be grasping who features in his plans and who doesn’t.

The derby-day contest is not the time to be experimenting.

Ben Watson will return having been rested at Preston but he has done okay when called upon.

It would represent a major surprise if O’Neill picks someone to start who hasn’t been featuring regularly.

Attack, attack, attack!

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Forest will face a Derby side that is desperately low on confidence and that must be taken advantage of.

The Reds showed against Brentford that they can trouble sides with their attacking options.

The best chance of a win on Monday is by playing on the front foot and hopefully, O’Neill asks his side to throw the shackles off.

Players like Joe Lolley and Lewis Grabban can wreak havoc on the Rams’ back four and it will be interesting to see what strategy Forest take.

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