Nottingham Forest face Derby County on Saturday looking to retain the Brian Clough Trophy for the second time this season. 

Boss Sabri Lamouchi has already led his side to victory over their East Midlands counterparts this season, winning 3-0 in a Carabao Cup contest back in August.

Albert Adomah, Joe Lolley and Joao Carvalho scored that night to ensure a very unhappy night for a young Derby outfit.

(Photo by Jon Hobley/ MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

This weekend will throw up a different challenge, however, and after wins on Saturday both teams will be in confident spirits.

Derby might have been handed a fitness boost ahead of the City Ground showdown. Krystian Bielik hobbled off on Saturday against Middlesborough and was thought to be a doubt for the game.

According to Derbyshire Live, however, his withdrawal was simply as a precaution and the Polish summer signing is ‘expected’ to be fit.

The 21-year-old has played 12 times for Derby this season and typically operates in the defensive midfield role at the bottom of a diamond that Phillip Cocu likes to utilise.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Bielik arrived at Pride Park from Arsenal during the summer. He cost the Rams £10 million (Sky Sports) and is very much an important player for Cocu’s team.


Of course, Lamouchi won’t really care who lines up against Forest on Saturday and his focus will be on his team doing what they do best.

The emphasis will be on heading into the next international break in the best form possible and winning the game will be all that matters to the Forest boss.

It goes without saying that in the absence of Tom Huddlestone, Derby are reliant on Bielik being fit in order to make the best use of their diamond strategy and should he be ruled out it would be a significant blow.

The youngster has been capped twice by Poland and looks as though he could become a very good player indeed.

If he does start on Saturday, Forest will need to find a way to stifle the threat which he poses in breaking up promising attacks.

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