Nottingham Forest have the chance to immediately respond to their 3-0 defeat to Derby in this Championship fixture on Wednesday night whilst Preston North End will want to continue their solid run of form.
How they’ve fared so far
After Sunday’s defeat, Forest find themselves sat 16th in the league table after what had been a decent run of form under manager Philippe Montanier which saw the Reds achieve three consecutive victories before the Derby game. This has left them five points clear of relegation and still just seven points off the play-off places.
It will be interesting to see how Forest respond to what was a demoralising defeat at bitter rivals Derby County at the weekend. It is a defeat which could undo all the good work Montanier’s men had done before then throughout their good run of form.
It is highly important that the Forest players respond in this home game against Preston and also the home game against Wolves on Saturday to repay the fans for what was ultimately a woeful performance.
Preston will not be an easy task whatsoever with their recent form which sees them sat 12th in the Championship table. They are eight points clear of relegation and just the four points off the play-off places under manager Simon Grayson.
They had a slow start to the season, winning just one of their opening six games. However, they have since been getting very consistent results whilst doing nothing special in the process. Most recently, the came out on the positive end of a derby match as they came out 3-2 winners against Blackburn Rovers at Deepdale.
With just three points separating them in the league table, it is likely to be a very close encounter but after Forest’s result at the weekend, you’d expect them to come out firing.
Last time they met
Forest last played Preston in a 1-0 win at The City Ground back in March this year. Nelson Oliveira’s goal settled the close encounter on the counter attack to end Forest’s four-game losing streak and allow Dougie Freedman to hold on to his job a while longer.
Preston also beat Forest 1-0 in the reverse fixture at Deepdale last season. Eoin Doyle’s goal after just two minutes was enough to secure the three points as Forest’s winless run extended to eight games.
Preston are likely to field a similar line-up to the one which secured a vital 3-2 victory over local rivals Blackburn Rovers at the weekend. This line-up is likely to include the likes of Baptiste, Clarke, Johnson, Robinson, Hugill and Makienok.
Greg Cunningham will also be returning to his former club as he had a successful spell at Forest on loan from Manchester City in the 2011/12 season, making 27 appearances in the process.
Two players North End will be without are Jermaine Beckford and Eoin Doyle as they continue to serve their three-match bans for fighting each other in Preston’s 2-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.
As for Forest, it is very difficult to predict who Montanier will select as there is likely to be a whole host of changes after what was a dismal display at the iPro Stadium. The likes of Thomas Lam, Mustapha Carayol, Patjim Kasami and Nicklas Bendtner in particular may be in danger of losing their place in the starting line-up.
Forest will be hoping that Henri Lansbury and Britt Assombalonga will both be fit enough to play some part in the match. However, with both suffering with hamstring injuries, this may not be the case.