After a tough 5-0 defeat to Bristol City last time out, Hull City appear to be firmly on the beach. With 16 points between the Tigers and the relegation zone, Shota Arveladze’s side have nothing to play for during this fixture.
Back-to-back home wins for Hull ensures that they won’t end the season as the worst performing home side in the Championship. However, they will be hoping to add to that by winning their third successive Championship home game for the first time since 2019.
As for Nottingham Forest, this could have been a huge fixture for the Reds if they hadn’t lost 1-0 to Bournemouth on Tuesday. Nevertheless, Steve Cooper’s men must put automatic promotion behind them and look forward to the play-offs next week.
This fixture will determine whether Forest finish third or fourth, lining up a two-legged date with Sheffield United, Luton Town, Middlesbrough or Millwall. Steve Cooper will want his team to take good form into the play-offs but will be mindful of injury risks as ultimately, this game has little significance for Forest.
Di’Shon Bernard may come back into the back three, whilst Joshua Emmanuel, Mallik Wilks and Randell Williams remain injured. However, Williams has come through a full week of training and will be hoping to get some minutes before the season ends.
As previously mentioned, Steve Cooper will have to be mindful when it comes to picking his team.
Steve Cook may be left out of the starting lineup after his father was taken ill on Tuesday and the defender also suffered a head injury during the fixture with Bournemouth.
“He probably won’t feature at the weekend, but I don’t think he would have anyway, because of his head,” Steve Cooper told the media.
“The most important thing for him is being around his family, and particularly his dad, making sure he does what he needs to do there. He has our support.”
Jack Colback has also been carrying a knock for the past few weeks, meaning Richie Laryea may make his first Nottingham Forest start. If Forest are to meet Middlesbrough in the play-offs, Laryea will need minutes under his belt to replace the ineligible Djed Spence.
Joe Lolley, Alex Mighten and Xande Silva could come in to give key players a rest, whilst Keinan Davis and Max Lowe are still recovering from injury.
“They’re (Davis and Lowe) not any closer,” Cooper told the media. They are making good progress, but normal progress. Timelines don’t really match up, in terms of playing games.”
Lewis Grabban has also been ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Hull City: Baxter; McLoughlin, Greaves, Bernard; Coyle, Smallwood, Slater, Fleming; Honeyman, Lewis-Potter; Forss
Nottingham Forest: Samba; McKenna, Figueiredo, Worrall; Spence, Garner, Cafu, Laryea; Lolley, Mighten; Silva
Ones to watch
The 21-year-old gave Hull the lead the last time these two sides met and scored a brace during the Tigers’ last home game.
Lewis-Potter has 14 goal involvements during this campaign (G11, A3) and will be looking to build on those numbers to take into next season.
The 21-year-old is now on 12 goal involvements for the season (G4, A8) and has more key passes (81) than any player aged 21 orunder in all of England’s top four flights.
Hull took the lead late in the first half through Keane Lewis-Potter, but Forest showed relentlessness in the second half to earn a fourth win from their last five meetings against the Tigers.
How to watch
This match is on Saturday, May 7, and kicks off at 12:30 BST. This game is unavailable to watch in the UK and Ireland but can be live streamed via either club website for those abroad.
What the managers have said
Hull boss Shota Arveladze spoke to the club's media ahead of this fixture, expressing his sides desire to bounce back from the defeat last time out.
He said: "It was quite painful (the defeat against Bristol City). The boys always react. We have to look ahead to the next game. We've had the awards evening which gave the boys a good feeling and the chance to look back on what they've done this season.
“The next game is now the most important. It's our last game of the season at home. I'm looking forward to it.
"They've (Nottingham Forest) had a great second half of the season. They've picked up a lot of points and scored a lot of goals. They're a good team.
"You can think a lot about what kind of game it's going to be (against Nottingham Forest). We always want to go into games with a good feeling."
Ahead of his sides trip up north, Forest Head Coach Steve Cooper spoke to the local media about this seasons success and how to take that one step further.
He said: “It's always disappointing not to win a game of football, but what you've got to make sure you do whenever that happens is learn from it.
"You learn, you put it behind you, we now focus on Hull and then prepare for the play-offs which we are all really excited about.
"The teams that succeed are best defined by how they recover from setbacks. Any team that wants to succeed, you have bumps in the road along the way, so we embrace it.
"Our approach will be to go to Hull and to win. I want a winning team, I want a winning mentality, I want us to play well and play our way. It's the last game of the domestic season and as usual we are taking a lot of fans, so we owe it to them to put in a good performance.
"We have shown this year how good a team we are, so I want the players, the supporters and all the staff to feel really positive about how good our form is, how strong the confidence is and how much we love being at this football club.
"At one stage, we were at the bottom, so to be able to finish third would show we're on the right track."