Date:Thursday February 21 2008
February 23, 2008
Nottingham Forest travel to London on Saturday, in the hope of putting their away day woes behind them. The last time the Reds won away from home was December 7, in the 2-0 win over Brighton. Three points against Orient will be a much needed boost, not to mention vital if we are to stay in touch with the leaders.
Forest sit in 3rd place in the League 1 table, 3 points behind 2nd placed Doncaster. Rovers will be away at Carlisle and the right result could see Forest climb into an automatic spot. That all depends on whether we can finally lay to rest our abysmal away record.
The O's were the early season pace setters in the division, but have slipped to just outside the playoff placings in 7th. Last time out they beat Luton 1-0 away and got back to winning ways after a dip in form.
Orient manager Martin Ling and Colin Calderwood are good friends, but that friendship will be put to one side as both sides battle for the points. Matty Lockwood will renew old acquaintances when he returns to his former club for the first time since signing for the Reds in the summer. The former O's favourite has yet to show the City Ground faithful the same form that took him to the hearts of the Orient fans and may find himself dropped for this one, with the expected return of Julian Bennett after his one match suspension.
Orient defender Tamika Mkandawire is a serious doubt for the game and may need a hernia operation. Good news for the home side is the expected returns of Sean Thornton and Alton Thelwell, after they returned to training after respective hamstring and knee injuries.
The midfield playmaker was the stand out player for Orient when they came to the City Ground last month. He's tricky and will have to be watched.
Nathan Tyson will definitely miss out with yet another hamstring injury. Hoskins will have a fitness test to see if he's overcome a back injury picked up in the build up to the Swindon game. But there is some good news in the availability of both Holt and Bennett, who return after their one match bans. New boy Garath McLeary is in line for a bench place at least and could even find himself making his Forest debut if Hoskins fails to recover in time.
Most fans player of the season so far. Our athletic centre half will need to martial his defence well for this one. If as expected CC goes with his new fangled 5 at the back, then it will need someone with a louder bark than Breckin to sort them all out and organise the defence.
Last month Forest ran out comfortable 4-0 winners at the City Ground. Last season saw us lose 3-1 at home in a sorry performance, but rectified things in the penultimate game of the campaign with a 3-1 victory at Brisbane Road.
The two sides have met a total of 45 times in the League. Forest have won 22, lost 9 and 14 have been draws.
1-1. Unfortunately I can't see our away day troubles ending here. Hopefully I'm wrong as usual.
FL1. Carlisle (H). March 3. 7.45pm
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Date:Thursday February 21 2008
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