Date:Friday September 22 2006
The top-of-the-table clash is spicy enough already that it hardly needs anymore seasoning.
But added to the mix will be a former player and the manager who inadvertently brought about the biggest turning point in Forest's season last term.
Tranmere manager Ronnie Moore was in charge of Oldham last February when a 3-0 victory over Forest proved the final straw for Gary Megson.
He is now paired with a player Megson deemed surplus to requirements at the City Ground - and will be determined to settle a few scores tomorrow.
Gareth Taylor will lead the line for Tranmere tomorrow in a game that could see them overtake Forest at the top of League One.
And his former room-mate believes he will be the biggest threat to Forest's unbeaten away record in the league this season.
Nicky Southall bunked with Taylor until the striker joined Crewe on loan in January.
He believes it was a mistake to let him leave the City Ground.
Southall said: 'I still feel he's good enough to be here.
'He's a good player, holds the ball up well and is one of the best target men in the league.
'He's dominant in the air and can feed people in from midfield so we need to be aware of that.
'He's going to want to prove to a lot of people that he should still be here and have a big part at the club.
'I've done it in the past when playing a former club.
'There's always that added bit of spice - 'I want to prove you wrong.''
Taylor's final season at Forest proved to be an unhappy one.
Despite beginning the season as captain - he was stripped of the armband and deployed in the centre of defence as Forest struggled in League One.
The arrivals of Nathan Tyson and Grant Holt meant his days were numbered and he was finally allowed to see out the second half of the campaign at Crewe.
Southall was more privy than most to the turmoil his room-mate went through.
'For Gareth it wasn't a very nice situation last year,' he said.
'He started off as captain, lost that and then finds out he's being shipped out on loan.
'He's going to really want to prove to Forest that they were wrong to do that.
'He had a few injuries and was playing centre half. He can play centre half, but it didn't help his cause.
'At the time we weren't playing well, we were leaking goals and he was playing centre half.
'But he's a good pro and he was my room-mate last year and I've got every respect for him because he was a terrific player.
'I speak to him briefly now and he's got to be looking forward to the game.'
Colin Calderwood added: 'I don't know Gareth, but I am sure the players have spoken to him this week. He is a threat.
'It does make a difference when you are up against a former club, but only in the sense that you want to be happy at the end of the game when you come across your former team mates.
'You want to be able to leave with your head held high.'
Southall sees this as the start of a crucial period for Forest.
After taking only one point from a possible six they now take on their three closest challengers - Tranmere, Port Vale and Swansea.
He said: 'Every game is a big game at the minute. When you are top of the league everybody is after you and it's doubly hard to stay there.
'The whole league is chasing you and on the back of two disappointing results at home we need to go to Tranmere and make sure we don't get beaten.
'The Oldham game took us a bit by surprise. Nobody saw that performance coming. It was a bit of an eye-opener and a warning that if you take games a bit under par you will get found out.
'When teams come to Forest they get men behind the ball and it's harder to break down.
'But with us being the away team we might do them on the break.'
Middlesbrough v Nottingham Forest: Team Line-Ups (Friday December 26 2014)
Pearce - Defensive Strength Will Be Key (Wednesday December 24 2014)
Middlesbrough v Forest Match Preview. (Wednesday December 24 2014)
Forest v Leeds: Bash9's Player Ratings! (Wednesday December 24 2014)
Forest v Leeds - Match Report From Kids Corner! (Wednesday December 24 2014)
Middlesbrough v Forest - How Will It Go? (Tuesday December 23 2014)
Ince Return Not Ruled Out (Tuesday December 23 2014)
Hobbs And Reid Making Progress (Tuesday December 23 2014)
Forest MotM Against Leeds (Tuesday December 23 2014)
Stats: Nottingham Forest v Leeds United (Tuesday December 23 2014)
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