This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Either the week you’re playing Derby, or the week that you have a derby. Luckily for Forest fans, it means the same thing on both occasions.
Does the fact that they’ve already faced off against each other this season in the Carabao Cup add to the whole story or take away from it somewhat?
Both teams named far from full strength sides that night, although Derby’s was much weaker than their Forest counterparts.
However, that certainly isn’t going to be the case this time around as Derby manager Phillip Cocu joked ahead of the clash.
Speaking to Derbyshire Live, Cocu mentioned that the team he picks for this Saturday’s encounter will be a lot stronger than the one earlier in the season, as he stressed just how important the match was for his side:
“I don’t think the same team will play! It is a tough, and important away game. Of course, the ambition for us to get a result against Forest and also in an away game is very important for us.”
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An affair like this is going to be won by who keeps control of their emotions better, and that’s where the manager’s come into the fray.
Whilst it’s always important to win, you could argue that this game is more important for the hosts rather than the visitors.
As pointed out earlier, this isn’t the first time that the two clubs have squared off against each other this season, and whilst the Carabao Cup fixture might have been a little bit of a taster of what the East Midlands Derby is like, this is going to be a completely different proposition.
Once again, this is going to be yet another ‘big test’ for Sabri Lamouchi in his first season in charge of things at the City Ground.
Especially in the wake of what has been happening in recent weeks at Derby, and the way Forest fans have reacted to it along the way, it could be an incredibly heated occasion and it’s up to him to make sure that the players don’t get caught up in the emotion of it all.