Nottingham Forest vs Brentford
The City Ground
Sky Bet Championship
For the third straight season, The Bees head to Nottingham Forest in the spring with the two sides at opposite ends of the table. Not since 2014 have Forest finished in the top-half of the Championship and this looks set to be another disappointing lower mid-table finish for The Reds.
Having avoided relegation on goal difference last season, former Bees boss Mark Warburton took the reins at The City Ground in the summer. Early signs were good as Forest won five of their first six matches, dumping Newcastle United out of the EFL Cup along the way. However, things soon turned sour; Forest lost 14 of their next 22 games with Warburton paying the price for that form on New Year's Eve.
Former Middlesbrough boss, Aitor Karanka has added a renewed resilience and stability since taking over in early January but without a noticeable upturn in results. Forest go into tonight's game without a win, or a goal, in five matches with all connected to The Reds looking forward to the end of another difficult season.
The home side have concerns over a quartet of key players ahead of tonight's match; Joe Worrell and Matty Cash both missed Saturday's defeat at Middlesbrough while David Vaughan continues to battle a persistent ankle injury which has kept him out since January. Striker Daryl Murphy is also struggling with a calf injury which makes him a doubt for tonight.
For The Bees, Rico Henry remains out with his knee-injury while Florian Jozefzoon missed Saturday's win over Ipswich Town after picking up an ankle injury against Bristol City. Ryan Woods serves the final game of his three-match ban but The Bees were able to welcome Lewis Macleod and Andreas Bjelland back into the matchday squad on Saturday.
After three years as assistant manager to Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid, Aitor Karanka was appointed manager of Middlesbrough in November 2013. He was the first non-British man in charge at The Riverside in their history.
The 42-year-old played as a defender for Athletic Bilbao, Real Madrid and Colorado Rapids before pursuing a career in management. Capped once by Spain, he also represented his country at youth level alongside the likes of Fernando Morientes and Raúl.
Karanka earned promotion to the Premier League with Boro in 2016 but was sacked less than a year later with The Teesiders three points from safety and without a win in three months. After nine months out of the game he was appointed Forest manager in early January.
TICKET AND TRAVEL NEWS
If you want to join the travelling Bees tonight, tickets will be on sale, cash only, at The City Ground:
Principal partners LeoVegas have a range of markets on tonight's game. Check out their best odds here.
iFollow will be providing commentary from 7.15pm with Matchday Live hosted by Mark Burridge. Mark's guests tonight will be Mick Cabble and Ciaran Brett.