Nottingham Forest’s ten-game unbeaten league run came to an end as the Reds lost 1-0 to Luton Town last time out. Forest boss Steve Cooper argued that the ‘best team lost’ when assessing the game afterwards and has urged his team to not be disappointed.
“I’ve said to the players, we’ve shown lots of our good sides to our game and to our mentality. We need to show another one for Monday.”
The Reds return to the City Ground for this fixture and will find confidence in the fact that they haven’t lost a league game at home during this calendar year. A crucial win here would see Forest keep on Bournemouth’s trail and keep a firm grip on a play-off spot.
West Bromwich Albion now find themselves just five points away from the play-off places after a 2-1 Good Friday win over Blackpool last time out. However, Baggies boss Steve Bruce claimed there is “too much to do” for his side to reach the top six this season during his press conference after the win over Blackpool.
If West Brom are to push for the play-offs, it is their away form that needs immediate improvement after only winning one of their last ten Championship games on the road.
“They have definitely come off with feeling their hamstrings. We’ll have to see how that is in the next 24 hours.
“I don’t want to make any assumptions at the moment. We need to get back to the training ground now. We need to recover, get everyone checked over and see where we’re at come Monday.”
Steve Bruce will be hopeful that midfielder Alex Mowatt will be fit to play a part in this fixture. Bruce stated that Mowatt would be touch and go ahead of the Blackpool game after picking up a knock in the build-up to the Good Friday game.
“I've got a concern over Mowatt, he's got a bit of a knock - 50/50 I would have thought. Everyone else seems okay,” Bruce told Birmingham Live.
American forward Daryl Dike picked up a serious hamstring injury during his first start for West Brom back in January and Steve Bruce isn’t looking to risk him unless he’s certain the injury is completely gone.
“There's the possibility that he might be back,” Bruce said in his press conference. “But unless I think he is bob on, I will still err on caution. There's nothing worse than an injury when you're a footballer, let alone when you've come over here from America, big money signing, and you've lasted a game.
“It's tough on him and it's tough on everyone else as well. We hope that he can get himself right. Pre-season is huge for him.”
Nottingham Forest: Samba, Worrall, Figueiredo, McKenna, Spence, Yates, Garner, Colback, Zinckernagel, Johnson, Grabban
West Bromwich Albion: Button, Ajayi, O’Shea, Clarke, Furlong, Livermore, Molumby, Reach, Robinson, Grant, Carroll
Ones to watch
Keinan Davis has been at the heart of Forest’s attack recently and has registered four direct goal involvements during his teams last five wins (G3, A1). Davis now has five goals and three assists for the Reds in all competitions this season.
Karlan Grant scored a stoppage-time winner last time out against Blackpool and has contributed to a goal in two of his last three games against Forest (G1, A1). Grant now has 15 goals and six assists for the Baggies in all competitions this season.
The last time these two sides met was at the end of November, with the game ending in a 0-0 draw.
The previous fixture saw Albion have better opportunities than Forest, but the Reds were helped by the dismissal of Jayson Molumby, whose strong challenge on Ryan Yates saw the Baggies midfielder receive a second yellow card.
West Brom held out for a point but both clubs will be hoping for all three points on Monday night.
How to watch
The match is on Monday, April 18, and will kick off at 20:00 BST. Coverage of the game will be available from 19:30 BST on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football.