Nottingham Forest vs Burton Albion Preview: Can the Reds bounce back from their derby day defeat with three points?

Nottingham Forest will be looking to get back to winning ways in The Championship as they take on Burton Albion at The City Ground on Saturday afternoon. 

The Reds returned from the international break by losing 2-0 to their fierce rivals Derby County at Pride Park which is always difficult for supporters of the club to take. They will now be desperate to wipe this defeat from the memory by securing three points in this clash. 

As for Burton, they earned a very credible point away at Bristol City last weekend in a 0-0 draw. Ashton Gate has proven to be a very tricky place for teams to visit this season so this was a superb result for Nigel Clough's side. 

How they've fared so far 

It has been a very tricky period for Forest in recent weeks as results have deteriorated quite considerably. After a great start to the season, many fans dared to dream of a potential push for the play-offs but after recent results, a mid-table finish seems far more realistic. Mark Warburton is aware of the expectation at the club but has also stated that he needs time to implement his philosophy. 

Of course, it is not only on-the-field that Forest are undergoing a total rebuilding job, it is off-the-field as well. The five year tenure of former owner Fawaz Al-Hasawi left the club's finances in tatters and also ruined the reputation of the club. Evaneglos Marinakis is gradually sorting the club out but it will take a considerable amount of time to make a full recovery. This means that it would have been unrealistic for Forest to target promotion this season and will continue to be until they get their house in order. 

Despite their recent results, Forest have not performed particularly badly in any game. The only game they arguably definitely deserved to lose and performed badly in was in the 2-0 home defeat to Leeds United back in August. In the defeats against Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Fulham and most recently Derby, Forest had opportunities to potentially get something from the game. The Fulham game in particular stands out as Forest dominated for large periods but somehow came out on the back end of a 3-1 defeat. 

However, football is becoming very results focussed and performances are not good enough for a manager to keep his job for very long. Warburton will be fully aware that he has to start getting some points on the board soon or his job will come under threat. Forest will head into this weekend's game as favourites and with this comes added pressure to get the job done and claim the three points. 

As for Burton, they have made a pretty poor start to the season but are still plugging away under the management of Clough. It has been a remarkable rise in recent years and they look up for the fight for survival once again this season. Despite losing key players such as Jackson Irvine during the summer, Burton still have the ability to pick up impressive results and are still relatively solid at the back on their day. 

Albion are unbeaten in their last three away games in The Championship, all of which were goalless draws. These came against Norwich City, Queens Park Rangers and most recently Bristol City. However, if Forest's attacking players turn up as they did against Sheffield United, then it could be a long afternoon for Clough's side. 

Last time they met

Forest last played Burton in The Championship a 1-0 defeat at The Pirelli Stadium in March. Cauley Woodrow scored the only goal of the game from a free-kick to give Albion their first competitive win over the Reds. This increased Forest's relegation worries as it was their fifth loss in seven games. 

However, the Reds did get the better of Albion when the sides last met at The City Ground as they came out 4-3 winners in a thriller on the opening day of the season. It was Philippe Montanier's first game as Forest boss and he was relieved to hold out for the three points despite a spirited performance from the away side. 

Team news 

There is mixed injury news for Warburton and Forest ahead of this tricky test at the weekend. Chris Cohen is said to be slowly recovering from his injury but Jack Hobbs has suffered a setback in his recovery which is another blow to Forest's defensive issues. However, one huge boost to Warburton is that David Vaughan is back and available for selection. This is a huge positive as Vaughan is hugely influential in the way that Warburton wants the side to play. 

As for Burton, full-back John Brayford could be set to make a return from injury which would be a significant boost. However, forwards Joe Mason and Sean Scannell are injury doubts. Mason would be a significant loss as he has looked a decent addition since joining the club on loan from Wolves this summer and could have potentially caused Forest's defence problems.