Middlesbrough v Forest Match Preview
Nottingham Forest will once again be looking for the opportunity to bring a halt to their 5 game winless run in the Championship, against a Middlesbrough side who`s own play-off challenge has faltered.
Forest have lost their last 3 games, the latest of which came in the 1-0 weekend defeat by Barnsley. Forest have conceded 13 in their last 5 games, scoring 5 in the process, but failing to net last time out for the first time in 10 games.
Aitor Karanka's Middlesbrough beat Ipswich 2-0 last time out, with both goals coming from Danny Graham, who had been a rumoured loan target for Forest. These were Boro`s first goals and their first win in their last 8 games, a run which has seen 3 defeats and 4 goalless draws.
The last game between the sides came in September and ended 2-2, with Forest fighting back from 0-2 down, courtesy of goals from Matt Derbyshire and Darius Henderson.
Daniel Ayala, Tomas Mejias, Seb Hines and Rhys Williams are all expected to miss out through injury, but Jonathan Woodgate and Mustapha Carayol may both face late fitness tests to determine whether they will feature in Karanka`s squad.
For the first time in weeks, Forest are not reporting any 'new` injuries, but still boast a wealth of playing riches occupying the treatment room.
David Vaughan, Chris Cohen, Dexter Blackstock & Jack Hobbs are all long term absentees and not expected to feature again this season. Eric Lichaj`s pelvic injury will see him face a further 4-6 weeks out.
Andy Reid, Kelvin Wilson and Henri Lansbury are all recovering and seem to be a matter of weeks away - hopefully. Rafik Djebbour will face a late fitness test to see if he makes the trip.
Kevin Gomis made his debut against Barnsley, so will want to retain a starting berth. Darius Henderson and Guy Moussi started on the bench, so both will be keen to make Billy`s starting 11.
The match will be refereed by Roger East, who has officiated 21 games this season, during which he has dished out 71 yellows & 1 red card - none of these games involved Boro or Forest.
Middlesbrough are clear favourites for this one, having finally broken their scoring duck, although they don`t concede many at home - Forest need to avoid defeat, so I will risk the nipper`s pocket money on 1-1, as the odds may make it beneficial.
Come On You Reds!!!