Birmingham City vs Nottingham Forest Preview: Can the Blues end their dismal run of form?

Birmingham City will be looking to get back to winning ways in The Championship as they take on Nottingham Forest at St Andrew's on Saturday afternoon.

Birmingham City vs Nottingham Forest Preview: Can the Blues end their dismal run of form?
Birmingham City vs Nottingham Forest Preview: Can the Blues end their dismal run of form? (picture: Getty Images / Nathan Stirk)

Birmingham City will be looking to get back to winning ways in The Championship as they take on Nottingham Forest at St Andrew's on Saturday afternoon.

The Blues suffered another demoralising defeat before the international break as they were beaten 2-0 by Barnsley at Oakwell. It was a poor performance from Steve Cotterill's side and one that was met by a hostile response from the away supporters. 

As for Forest, they put in one of their best performances of the season as they came out with a 4-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers at The City Ground. They will be confident of picking up another three points on Saturday afternoon. 

How they've fared so far

After keeping Birmingham in The Championship miraculously last season, many felt that Harry Redknapp could  be the man to lead the Blues back to the Premier League. However, shortly into the current campaign, it quickly became evident that this was not going to be the case and he was dismissed by the club's hierarchy. However, Cotterill has not been able to turn the team's form around as much as he would have hoped since taking over.

The Blues have now just won one of their last five league matches, which came in the 1-0 win over Cardiff City in Cotterill's first match in charge. However, they have not been able to match the performance levels set in this match in recent weeks and have been beaten by the likes of Millwall, Brentford and Barnsley. These are all teams that you would expect Birmingham to beat after the amount they invested during the summer. 

There has been lots of speculation about possible discontent in the dressing room amongst players and this is not a good recipe for success in what is a highly demanding division. Cotterill has been in this sort of situation before with a number of different clubs and has been able to turn it around in a relatively short period of time. However, he clearly has a huge job on his hands to save Birmingham from relegation this season. 

As for Forest, they have been impressive in The Championship of late after experiencing a difficult run of fixtures during September. Mark Warburton's side appear to have clicked in recent weeks but still remain largely inconsistent and unpredictable, especially away from home. On their day, they have the potential to beat any side in the division with their attacking flare but questions are still being asked about their defence. 

The Reds currently sit just outside the play-off places and will be looking to move into the top six during the coming weeks. They are certainly a contender for the play-offs if they can produce the performance they did against QPR on a more consistent basis. 

Embed from Getty Images

Last time they met

Birmingham last played Forest in The Championship in a 0-0 draw at St Andrew's in January. This result extended Birmingham's winless run under new manager Gianfranco Zola to six matches after they decided to dismiss Gary Rowett

However, they were beaten by Forest on their last visit to The City Ground by a 3-1 scoreline. Eric Lichaj, Apostolos Vellios and Hildeberto Pereira got on the scoresheet for the home side to secure a comfortable three points. 

Team news 

Birmingham may be without influential midfielder Craig Gardner in this game as he remains a doubt after injuring his calf in training. Both Carl Jenkinson and Jason Lowe will also miss out with a shoulder and hamstring injury respectively. 

As for Forest, both Chris Cohen and Danny Fox remain on the sidelines with long-term injuries. However, Tendayi Darikwa is back fit again but is unlikely to return to the starting line-up due to the recent form of right-back Eric Lichaj.