Nottingham Forest will be looking to build on last weekend’s win in the Championship as they take on Hull City at The KCOM Stadium on Saturday evening.
The Reds responded to their 2-0 defeat to local rivals Derby County by beating struggling Burton Albion 2-0 at The City Ground last weekend. However, they will now be eager to use this win as a platform to go on a good run of form.
As for Hull, they claimed a 1-0 win away at Barnsley which marked their first win away from home in a total of 427 days. They will now be looking to push on up the table with another win in this one.
How they’ve fared so far
It has been a very average start to the season for Hull after a fairly unsettling summer at the club. Leonid Slutsky was appointed as the club’s new manager but is clearly still adapting to life in The Championship. However, he is now starting to find his feet as manager of the club.
Having only been relegated from the Premier League last season, the expectation for many supporters was that the club would be challenging for at least the play-offs to try and return to the top flight as soon as possible. However, the departure of numerous key players such as Curtis Davies, Tom Huddlestone and Sam Clucas has resulted in this objective becoming far more difficult to achieve and perhaps unrealistic.
The Tigers have only won four of their opening 13 league games so far, drawing four and losing five. This sees them comfortably in mid-table and only six points off the play-offs. Considering the number of changes at the club this summer, this is not a shocking start as so long as they are within touching distance of the play-offs come next April, they always have a chance of sneaking in. This is what Slutsky's side should realistically be aiming to achieve.
They have shown that they are capable of beating teams heavily this season having already beaten Burton Albion and Birmingham City 4-1 and 6-1 respectively at The KCOM Stadium. This will be a concern to Forest supporters after seeing their side defend relatively poorly throughout the early stages of the campaign and having kept very few clean sheets. Slutsky will certainly make sure his side looks to exploit Forest's defensive vulnerability on Saturday evening.
As for Forest, they have made a very similar start to the season and find themselves just two points above Hull in the table. The Reds have been very inconsistent as they try to adapt to Mark Warburton's style of play. They have been found out defensively on too many occasions already this season which has cost them points in games where they have played well for large spells.
Despite this, they did record a vital 2-0 win against Burton Albion at The City Ground last weekend which was a must-needed victory. This win should certainly help in regards to the confidence of the squad and they should now come into this game with the belief that they can secure another three points.
Last time they met
Hull last played Forest in The Championship in a 1-1 draw at The KCOM Stadium in March 2016. Gary Gardner had put the away side in front with a stunning strike from long-range. However, Sone Aluko equalised for the hosts deep into the second-half to deny Paul Williams his first victory in temporary charge of Forest.
However, Hull were able to secure all three points when they last visited The City Ground. A first-half goal from Abel Hernandez was enough to claim the win in a game that also saw Matt Mills dismissed in the second-half for a poor challenge on Chuba Akpom.
Slutsky has no fresh injury or suspension concerns ahead of this clash with Forest, which his side will be expected to win. He may decide to start with Fraizer Campbell after his late strike at Barnsley earned the Tigers all three points last weekend.
As for Forest, defenders Danny Fox and Armand Traore are both doubts which will cause a selection headache for Warburton in regards to who to play left-back. Joe Worrall came on as a substitute against Burton and impressed and therefore may be recalled back to the starting line-up for this one.