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At the end of 2021, Forest looked like they had lost their way after suffering back-to-back defeats to Middlesbrough and Huddersfield Town respectively.
However, the addition of a couple of fresh faces has seemingly improved the mood at the City Ground, Forest following a win over Arsenal in the FA Cup with a last-gasp victory at Millwall last weekend.
Lewis Grabban was again the hero, the veteran forward scoring his 11th Championship goal of the campaign to keep Forest within five points of the playoffs.
Head coach Steve Cooper knows that he needs more out of his frontline with Forest netting just four times in five games, but he will feel that the wins will come providing that the backline continue to do their job at the other end.
Forest end January with three matches against teams occupying spots in the bottom five, although they would be naive to dismiss neighbours Derby based on their league position.
Barring any unforeseen injury issues, Cooper will likely stick with the Forest XI which started against Millwall.
Philip Zinckernagel is an alternative in the final third, but Cooper will likely persist with the trio of Grabban, Brennan Johnson and Keinan Davis.
With Derby defender Craig Forsyth available again, he could return at left-back, allowing Festy Ebosele to be used further forward.
Colin Kazim-Richards made an impression as a substitute against the Blades and could take the spot of Luke Plange.
The likes of Ravel Morrison and Louie Sibley may have to make do with a place on the substitutes’ bench.
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Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Samba; Worrall, Cook, McKenna; Spence, Yates, Garner, Colback; Grabban; Johnson, Davis
Derby County possible starting lineup:
Allsopp; Byrne, Stearman, Davies, Forsyth; Knight, Bird, Thompson; Ebosele, Kazim-Richards, Lawrence