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The Rams have won six of their last eight, including sweeping past Huddersfield Town in midweek, while Forest have four victories from their last six and beat a tricky Rotherham United team 1-0 on Tuesday evening.
The two sides were forced to share the spoils when they met back at the City Ground in October and, on the Sky Sports website, Prutton has predicted the same result this evening, suggesting it will finish 2-2.
He explained: “Derby and Nottingham Forest will be relieved they are going into a game of this magnitude with a bit of breathing space above the bottom three.
“Both sides would have wanted infinitely better from this season, but they are where they are. It’s as even a match-up going into this one as you could possibly wish for. So I will go for a draw.”
At the turn of the year, Wayne Rooney and Chris Hughton would have felt justified in believing that their respective clubs would still be in a battle to avoid the drop come their next meeting.
While Derby and Forest will still have concerns about an unforeseen period in League One, they now have every reason to believe that they should still be aiming high during the final months of the current campaign.
Forest sit 10 points clear of the bottom three, two points ahead of their next opponents, but there are also just 10 points separating the Reds and the playoffs.
With just 14 matches remaining, achieving a top-six spot is realistically out of the question, although that will not stop Hughton and his squad wanting to maintain their recent form.