Huddersfield Town vs Nottingham Forest Preview: Forest look to steer clear of relegation zone

Huddersfield Town vs Nottingham Forest Preview: Forest look to steer clear of relegation zone

After three consecutive poor results, Nottingham Forest will be looking to get back on track as they take on Huddersfield Town at the John Smiths Stadium on Boxing Day afternoon as they look to get back to winning ways.

Sam Straw

Nottingham Forest have the chance to ease their relegation fears following three consecutive poor results including the 3-0 loss at Derby, the 1-1 draw against Preston and most recently the 2-0 defeat to Wolves. Huddersfield will be looking to further cement their place in the top six.

How they’ve fared so far

After the dismal defeat to Wolves last time out, Forest slipped one place to 17th in the Championship league table as they look to get back to the form which saw them win three games in a row.

This has left the club a huge 11 points off the play-off places and just six off the relegation zone. Despite good spells at both Derby away and Preston at home just days before, the Wolves game was full of negatives throughout as Wolves rarely looked in any danger of not coming away with maximum points.

Forest really need to pick up points and quickly to prevent themselves being dragged into a relegation dogfight. Philippe Montanier will know his job is on the line if he does not get results soon with the takeover on the horizon.

As for Huddersfield Town, they are having their best season for years as they have been transformed from a lowly Championship team, to serious promotion challengers. Majority of this is down to manager David Wagner who has this week turned down several offers from the Bundesliga to stay at the club.

Their superb form continued last time out as they secured an impressive 2-1 win away at promotion rivals Norwich City at Carrow Road. This sees them placed in 4th position in the Championship, three points clear of Derby County in 7th and nine points off Brighton & Hove Albion in 2nd.

Whether Wagner has made the right decision to stay at Huddersfield and not return to Germany for a shot at keeping Wolfsburg in the division is yet to be seen. However, he will be looking at this match as a huge opportunity for his side to pick up yet another three points on their quest to get to the Premier League.

Last time they met

Forest last played Huddersfield in a 2-0 defeat at The City Ground back in February this year. Matt Mills scored an own goal early on before Philip Billing’s superb strike ended Forest’s 13-match unbeaten run under manager Dougie Freedman.

The last time Forest visited the John Smith’s Stadium it ended 1-1 as Emyr Huws’ late deflected strike earned a point for Huddersfield after Ryan Mendes put Forest ahead with a fantastic half-volley.

Team news

Huddersfield have been busted by the return of captain Mark Hudson and winger Joe Lolley for this fixture. Hudson has been out with injury since November whilst Lolley has been absent since August.

However, manager David Wagner is likely to be reluctant to make too many changes to the team who recorded the superb 2-1 win away at Norwich last time out.

Key performers for the Terriers such as Hogg, Mooy, Kachunga, van La Parra and Nahki Wells will all be expected to feature in the starting line-up against Forest.

As for Forest, they have also been boosted by the return of Nicklas Bendtner, Thomas Lam, Damien Perquis and most notably their star-striker Britt Assombalonga.

Britt Assombalonga hasn’t featured much at all this season but when he has, he generally scores. He last featured in a 2-0 win away at Ipswich Town in which he scored twice.

Forest manager Philippe Montanier will be hoping that he can help Forest secure a vital three points as they look to steer well clear of the relegation zone.