Nottingham Forest vs Swansea preview: Both sides aim to improve form in hunt to consolidate play-off spot
SWANSEA, WALES - JULY 12: Rhian Brewster of Swansea City during the Sky Bet Championship match between Swansea City and Leeds United at the Liberty Stadium on July 12, 2020 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Nottingham Forest will look to end their three match win-less run and maintain their spot in the top six as they host Swansea City, who are within touching distance of the top six. 

After drawing 1-1 away to Preston North End last time round, with only five points separating the Reds from sixth place Cardiff City - Forest will aim to improve upon their average home form which has seen them win ten, draw four and lose seven so far this season at the City Ground

The Swans will look to bounce back after a disappointing 1-0 loss at home to top of the table Leeds United, but will look to Forest's recent poor form as encouragement ahead of the clash.

Key Battles

Forest's attacking unit will likely face a back three from Swansea, a man who will enjoy running the defense ragged, the Championship's third top scorer - Lewis Grabban.

Grabban has netted 20 times for Forest this season whilst also assisting two - will look to lure out the Swansea defense to create space for the Forest attackers. 

After missing out against Leeds late on due to fitness, Mike Van der Hoorn will look to neutralize the threat that Grabban possesses for Forest. The Dutchman has featured 25 times for the Swans this season and has managed to keep a clean sheet in seven of those appearances, whilst only conceding an average of one goal per 90 minutes when the defender has featured (Via FootyStats). 

Liverpool loanee Rhian Brewster will lead the line for the Swans, the youngster has had an impressive return to action, the forward has scored 8 goals so far this season and will prove to be a handful for both Tobias Figueiredo and Joe Worrall at the heart of the Forest defense.

Previous Meetings

The two sides previous encounter was nine months ago, in September 2019 as Swansea hosted Forest at the Liberty Stadium - The visitors left south Wales with three points, beating the swans 1-0. 

After dominating for large portions of the game, Forest left it late to score the winner - as Alfa Semedo converted a Lewis Grabban cross from a swift counter attack.

Team News

Matty Cash, who is still carrying a knock is expected to miss out for the hosts, with Carl Jenkinson expected to fill in at right-back. 

For the Swans, Freddie Woodman should be available in between the sticks after passing a late fitness test, Mike Van der Hoorn is also expected to return to the starting XI, after narrowly missing out against Leeds. 

Predicted Line-ups

Forest XI: Samba; Jenkinson, Figueiredo, Worrall, Ribeiro; Sow, Watson; Lolley, Silva, Ameobi; Grabban (4-2-3-1).

Swansea XI: Woodman; Cabango, Guehi, Van der Hoorn; Roberts, Fulton, Grimes, Bidwell; Ayew, Brewster, Gallagher (3-4-3). 

Managers Thoughts

Sabri Lamouchi was pleased with his sides draw to Preston, but insisted that his team must take their chances and improve next time round against Swansea:

“One point is a good result and now we need to think about the next one. We will watch Swansea play Leeds tomorrow, we play Swansea on Wednesday, Barnsley on Saturday and Stoke the week after.

“There are many games but the players are a team and they try. We can play a lot better and in the first half we missed some chances with the transition.

"It is important to try to win the game. We showed that we wanted to get the result, unfortunately it wasn’t the case. We suffered with the long balls and corners but Brice was perfect, the back four were perfect, the midfield suffered a lot but they were focused."

Speaking after their defeat to Leeds, Steve Cooper hopes his side can pull themselves out of their poor form and get back to winning ways.

"All I know is when you play them now it's a really tough game .

"We are down at the moment but it was a good game.

"We were out there and trying to win and obviously we have come on the wrong side of it."