Nottingham Forest vs Bolton Wanderers Preview: Can the Trotters continue their resurgence at The City Ground?

Nottingham Forest will be looking to get back to winning ways in The Championship as they take on Bolton Wanderers at The City Ground on Saturday afternoon.

Nottingham Forest vs Bolton Wanderers Preview: Can the Trotters continue their resurgence at The City Ground?
Nottingham Forest vs Bolton Wanderers Preview: Can the Trotters continue their resurgence at The City Ground? (picture: Getty Images / Tim Williams)

Nottingham Forest will be looking to get back to winning ways in The Championship as they take on Bolton Wanderers at The City Ground on Saturday afternoon. 

The Reds fell to another disappointing defeat last weekend as they lost 4-2 to Ipswich Town in a thrilling game at Portman Road. They will be glad to be back on home soil for this one following a good run of form recently at The City Ground. 

As for Bolton, they were able to move out of the relegation zone as they beat Barnsley 3-1 at the Macron Stadium. They have had a good run of form recently and will now have the confidence that they can avoid relegation back down to League One this season.

How they've fared so far

After five dismal years under the ownership of Fawaz Al-Hasawi, the majority of Forest supporters would have been happy with a mid-table finish before the season kicked off and some stability off-the-field. As it stands, the Reds are sat in mid-table and are just five points off the play-off places. 

However, Mark Warburton's side made a very impressive start to the season which seemed to raise expectations at The City Ground. Forest have had opportunities to get themselves into the top six in recent weeks but have not been able to find any consistency. This is one of the reasons why there is some frustration from the supporters as the Reds have shown glimpses of brilliance so far this season but have not been able to produce it on a weekly basis. 

Warburton will be hoping that his side can stay within touching distance of the play-off places over the Christmas period so that they have the chance to push on if they are able to go on a run of form. Forest head into Saturday's game as favourites and had won four home matches on the bounce before their 2-0 defeat to Cardiff City two weeks ago. 

As for Bolton, after making a disastrous start to the campaign following their promotion from League One last season, they have turned their form around in the last two months. Phil Parkinson's side went on a seven game unbeaten run in October and November before that eventually came to end as they lost 5-1 to leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers

However, they responded well to that defeat by convincingly beating Barnsley at home last weekend. The Trotters are yet to secure three points away from home this season, with their three wins so far all coming at the Macron Stadium. 

Despite this, they have made themselves very difficult to beat on the road recently. They have managed to hold the likes of Reading, Preston North End, Fulham and Sunderland to draws in recent weeks. They will come to The City Ground with the aim of frustrating the hosts and coming away with a result. 

Last time they met 

Forest last played Bolton in The Championship in a 3-0 win at The City Ground in January 2016. Goals from Nelson Oliveira, Oliver Burke and Jamie Ward were enough to secure all three points for the home side in a game which also saw Bolton goalkeeper Ben Amos sent off early on. 

Can Kieran Dowell score again for Forest on Saturday? (picture: Getty Images / Stephen Pond)
Can Kieran Dowell score again for Forest on Saturday? (picture: Getty Images / Stephen Pond)

Team news 

Warburton has no fresh injuries to contend with ahead of this one so could field a similar starting line-up to the one that lost at Ipswich last weekend. Warburton did mention that Zach Clough has been performing well in training of late and is not far off earning a chance to impress from the starting line-up after finding his opportunities limited this season. 

As for Bolton, Parkinson is also likely to be reluctant to make many changes following their good run of form recently. Gary Madine scored twice for the Trotters last weekend and he will fancy his chances of adding to his tally against Forest's vulnerable defence.