Close Encounters Of The 4th Kind: Sheep Preview
This East Midlands derby has a 1pm KO and will be a sellout at the City Ground on Saturday, for the 4th meeting of the season between the two rivals. The Reds' will be out to inflict revenge for the painful FA Cup defeat a few weeks ago, that saw us throw away a two goal lead, to go down 3-2.
As much as that FA Cup defeat hurt and still does, nothing short of a victory against the Shaggers this time round will suffice. An unthinkable defeat could put us further in the mire and drag us back into the drop zone, depending on results elsewhere. It's fair to say that the new manager effect is doing a little better at the moment down the A52, than it is on Trentside, but that could all change tomorrow with a win.
Although Young Clough has seen his Mutton Molestors get a few decent results of late, they themselves are not far from trouble and still have work to do to ensure their own safety. A win for us in this one will take us to just a point behind them in the table and that in itself will make things look a little sweeter.
The Sheep will arrive in town high in confidence, following the 4-1 thumping of Blackpool, but that victory did come at a price. They suffered injuries to key players and could be without Addison and Teale, who both left the field in the midweek game. There is some good news for Trickies on the injury front, in that Paul Anderson should make a welcome return. There's also more positive news for the Moose and Earnshaw, but this game may be just a little early for both to make an appearance in this game. Such is the injury crisis at Forest though, that one of them might get a recall earlier than they should.
When it comes to bragging rights in this fixture, we still hold the ace cards. In 73 meetings between us, we've tore them a new one 30 times, drawn 19 and have suffered shame in 24. The FA Cup win for the Sheep was the first time they've won at our place in something like 900 years, or 1971 if you can remember that far back.
It's not all doom and gloom though, because we'll get the chance to show the travelling Sheep what real support is all about once again. We may have lost that Cup tie, but we trounced the 4,000 odd travelling Mutton Molestors when it came to supporting the team. The Forest faithful were in good voice that night and silenced the Shaggers, who gave some pitiful backing to their team. The City Ground will be rocking, let's hope the fans get their rewards.