Nottingham Forest boss Chris Hughton will get his first taste of the East Midlands derby tomorrow night when the Rams arrive on Trentside.
The Reds beat Blackburn Rovers in Hughton’s first game in charge last weekend but were held to a 1-1 draw by Rotherham in midweek.
Derby have won one and lost five of their six Championship fixtures and Forest must be aware of the wounded animal.
The Championship is an unforgiving league and the games are now set to come thick and fast and with that in mind, Hughton will want to get on a roll quickly.
It’s three years since Forest last lost to Derby and the new Reds boss won’t want to let the Rams end that unwanted streak.
Ahead of facing our fierce rivals tomorrow, we’ve got three questions facing Hughton ahead of the clash with Philip Cocu’s team.
Will Harry Arter play?
The Forest midfielder recently missed out on representing the Republic of Ireland after picking up a minor injury problem.
There is talk that the reason he hasn’t started any of the last two games is down to the fact that he is still nursing the effects of his injury.
Arter has changed both of the last two games in Forest’s favour, however, and it’s fair to say he must be nearing a start.
The 30-year-old looks like a quality signing for the Reds and has shown real leadership since his arrival at the club.
Arter gives Forest a new dimension when they have the ball and playing through the lines, he always looks to get the Reds onto the front foot.
Plenty of supporters will be hoping to see Arter when the team-sheet is unveiled tomorrow night./
Will defensive continuity remain?
In Hughton’s first two games he has played the same eleven on both occasions.
Forest have looked defensively sound in both games, with the rearguard breached once from the penalty spot.
The Reds manager has recalled Tobias Figueiredo and he struck up a superb partnership with Scott McKenna.
Cyrus Christie and Nicholas Ioannou have also looked strong at full-back and it’ll be interesting to see if all five defensive players get the nod once again.
One criticism of former Forest managers has been the constant chopping and changing of players.
Hughton sticking with a winning 11 for the game against Rotherham was a firm tick in the box for the new manager.
Continue with 4-2-3-1?
Forest have played well in parts of their first two games under Hughton and the challenge now is for a complete 90-minute performance.
Nobody is piling pressure on the new boss to achieve this and it might take a little more time for that to be evident.
The midfield of Ryan Yates and Jack Colback does perhaps make Forest a little one dimensional and Arter coming in could allow more flexibility.
Some have been crying out for Lyle Taylor to start alongside Lewis Grabban in a two-pronged attack – but that ultimately means a change in the system.
Forest have plenty of players and in turn, that means Hughton has the flexibility to mix things up a bit.
Having not tasted defeat during his first two games it would come as a shock to see the system change completely. The option is certainly there for the boss, however.