Nottingham Forest vs Bristol City Preview: Will the Robins heap more misery on Forest?

Nottingham Forest vs Bristol City Preview: Will the Robins heap more misery on Forest?

Nottingham Forest will look to secure their first three points of 2017 on Saturday afternoon as they take on Bristol City in the Championship at The City Ground.

Sam Straw

It has been yet another eventful week for Nottingham Forest with both manager Philippe Montanier and influential midfielder Henri Lansbury leaving the club. 

Protests have been planned against owner Fawaz Al-Hasawi for before this vital game against Bristol City in the Championship at The City Ground

It is also a big game for Bristol City and their manager Lee Johnson who is under considerable pressure himself. A run of poor results has seen Gary Rowett linked with the job, having already turned the chance to work under Al-Hasawi down. 

How they've fared so far

Forest are going into this game in a very difficult situation. No manager has yet been appointed by Al-Hasawi meaning academy coaches Gary Brazil and Jack Lester will be taking charge of this fixture. Brazil did a reasonable job last time he was in temporary charge but may not be the man Forest need in the middle of a relegation battle.

It is now eight games without a win for Forest, with six of those ending in defeat. Their last win came all the way back at the beginning of December as they controversially beat leaders Newcastle United 2-1

This dismal run of form sees Forest sat in 20th place in the Championship table, just three points away from the relegation zone. The teams below them in Rotherham, Wigan, Blackburn Rovers and Burton Albion are all capable of picking up results and will cause Forest problems if they do not pick up their own form soon. 

It is evident that Forest need to bring in some fresh faces in this January transfer window to increase their chances of survival. However, it is unclear how knowledgeable Brazil and Lester are on the transfer market and whether any funds will be made available to them by Al-Hasawi. Time is ticking as we head into the end of the month and something needs to happen quickly before Forest spiral into League 1.

As for Bristol City, they are now experiencing relegation worries of their own after a run of poor results under manager Lee Johnson. They had a bright start to the season with Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham scoring the goals but since these have dried up, they have struggled to pick up results.  

They sit just above Forest in 19th place in the Championship table, above them on just goal difference. This means that they are also just three points above the relegation zone and are being dragged into the relegation battle. This is what has put Lee Johnson's job under significant pressure of late with former Birmingham City boss Gary Rowett being linked with the job. 

They are without a win in their last six league outings, but did end a winless streak in all competitions with a 1-0 away win at Fleetwood Town in their FA Cup Third Round replay on Tuesday night. This could give the away side belief that they can come to The City Ground and claim all three points on Saturday afternoon. 

Last time they met

Forest last played Bristol City in a 2-1 defeat at Ashton Gate back in October. Apostolos Vellios had given Forest the lead before half-time. However, goals from Tammy Abraham and Jamie Paterson turned the game around for the home side and allowed them to gain all three points. 

Bristol City also got the better of Forest in the 2015/16 season as they won 2-0 at Ashton Gate in October 2015 before following this up with a 2-1 victory at The City Ground the following February.

Jamie Paterson scored against former club Forest last time they met. (picture: Getty Images / Dan Istitene)
Jamie Paterson scored against former club Forest last time they met. (picture: Getty Images / Dan Istitene)

Team news

Forest face their first game since Henri Lansbury secured his £2.75 million move to Championship rivals Aston Villa. He had been an influential player for the Reds this season and they will badly miss his creativity and goal scoring ability in the middle of the park.

However, some good news for Forest fans was that Jamie Ward was recalled from his loan spell at Burton Albion. He is exactly the sort of hard working player Forest could do with in this situation. 

Patjim Kasami and Danny Fox have both been in training this week but this game still might come too soon for both. However, Daniel Pinillos may be able to make his first start for Forest since returning from injury which would be a huge boost. 

Bristol City's new goalkeeper, Fabian Giefer could make his first starts for the Robins at The City Ground in this huge relegation clash. He has signed from Schalke as he looks to reduce the amount of goals they have been conceding. 

The away side of no fresh injury concerns ahead of this match. However, midfielder Korey Smith picked up a hamstring injury and will subsequently be out for the next six weeks.