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Match Previews

Match preview: Nottingham Forest

A look ahead to tomorrow's match

8 February 2019

Brentford are unbeaten in ten, are starting to climb the Sky Bet Championship table and are through to the last 16 in the Emirates FA Cup. Nottingham Forest are next


Nottingham Forest are on the edge of the Play-Off race in the Sky Bet Championship, having dropped down the table in recent weeks. They are currently 12th in the league, just five points outside the top six but have won only twice since the start of December. And they have also just changed manager with former player Martin O'Neill taking the helm.

Forest have been in the Championship for a decade, having won promotion from League One in 2008 after three years in the third tier. They were last in the top flight in 1999 and the days of back-to-back European Cups seem a long way off. They reached the Play-Offs in two of their first three years at this level but have only once finished inside the top ten since 2011.

This year looked like it might be different as a loss to Brentford at Griffin Park was their only reverse in their first 15 games in all competitions. And even on December 8, Forest had only lost two league games. But they have been inconsistent since, Aitor Karanka was replaced as manager by Martin O'Neill and Forest will need an upturn in form to have a good end to the season.


Nottingham Forest are without suspended duo Yohan Benalouane and Jack Colback. But Benalouane's fellow defender Tendayi Darikwa is available after completing a three-match ban.

Rico Henry will miss the game after picking up an injury in the win over Blackburn Rovers last week. Emiliano Marcondes and Lewis Macleod are also set to sit the trip to Nottingham out.


Martin O'Neill was named Forest boss on 15 January, a few months after leaving his role in charge of the Republic of Ireland national team. O'Neill was part of the Forest team that won the league title in 1978 and then consecutive European Cup titles in the following years. The Northern Ireland international also played for Manchester City and Norwich City, among others.

He started in management with Grantham Town and made his name by taking Wycombe Wanderers in to the league before success at Leicester City in the 1990s. He took Celtic to a Europa League Final and managed Aston Villa and Sunderland before taking charge of Ireland. He earned a place in the 2016 UEFA European Championships and reached the last 16 but left late last year. His assistant with Ireland, Roy Keane, has joined him at Forest.


Ollie Watkins scored the winner as Brentford beat Forest at Griffin Park in September.


Hot Off The Press: Paul Taylor of the Nottingham Post.

Ref Watch: Robert Jones is the Man in the Middle.

Pre-match: Thomas Frank looks ahead to the game.


Tickets can be bought on the day at The City Ground. Full information can be seen here.


Mark Burridge presents Matchday Live from The City Ground this weekend, alongside Mick Cabble. Hear live commentary and build-up to the game from 2.30pm.

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