Date:Thursday March 11 2010
Forest travel up north this weekend desperate to put their woeful recent away form to bed after 4 successive away league defeats. Their fantastic home form has kept them in the automatic promotion race and they sit now just 2 points behind second place having played the same amount of games. Away form has to pick up soon though, with two away fixtures coming up in quick succession a win in at least one of those games is vital.
The time has come, the next away win is just around the corner
Callum Davidson maybe back in the starting line up after coming on as a sub in their previous outing & Ross Wallace could also return after missing the draw with Doncaster.
The former Liverpool front man is the main threat from Preston, he's managed 8 goals with a further 4 assists in 30 appearances so far this season.
The loss of Paul McKenna is a devastating blow to the reds & his leadership simply can't be replaced. Both Kelvin Wilson & Rob Earnshaw could be back in contention after receiving training ground knocks in the run up to the previous game but Billy Davies will probably stick with the 5 man midfield meaning Earnie will probably have to be content with a place on the bench. The loss of McKenna will probably also mean a return to midfield for Chris Cohen so James Perch could find himself in the left back slot once more.
Forest haven't been scoring anything like enough goals recently & the pacey winger will need to show more of the endeavour he showed against Swansea if Forest are to start a scoring run.
These two teams have now played 83 times in league competition, Preston have a comprehensive lead on wins with 36, Forest have won 26 & a further 21 games have been drawn. There have been 249 goals scored in those 83 games with Preston having a slight lead there also with 129 of them. Forest did win the corresponding fixture earlier this season at the City Ground 3 - 0
Preston have a very tight defence at home having conceded just 16 goals in 17 games. They have also only failed to score on four occasions at Deepdale this season with three of those ending goalless and a single goal defeat to Newcastle in the other. They have registered 7 wins & 7 draws in their 17 home games this season. In four attempts this season they have so far failed to score against any of the top three teams
Forest are currently the lowest away goal scorers in the top half of the Championship with just 13 away goals in 17 fixtures & they have only scored more than one goal in two of those 17 games which has played a major part in them losing their last 4 away games without scoring a single goal.
Mark Haywood of W. Yorkshire He last took charge of a Forest fixture way back in 2007 for the goalless draw with Oldham at the City Ground, he was though the fourth official earlier this season for the 1 - 0 away defeat to Coventry Paul Norris of Cheshire & and Seb Stockbridge of Tyne & Wear Fourth Official Kevin Mattocks of Lancashire
Preston's season is all but over, 7 points clear of relegation & 8 points away from the play offs with 11 games to go realistically means they have little or nothing to play for, although they do obviously been to pick up a few points here & there but this game should mean far more to a set of Forest players hurting from their recent away defeats but optimistic of their chances of automatic promotion. With neither team scoring for fun it's likely to be a tight game with just a single goal separating the two teams, with Forest's extra incentive, I'm going for a 0 - 1 away win.
Tuesday, 16 March 19:45
The Football League Championship
Barnsley v Nottm Forest
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