To be played on Saturday 7th March 2015 at 15:00. Venue: City Ground, Nottingham
Odds: Forest 19/10, Draw 23/10, Middlesbrough 11/8
Nottingham Forest may have slipped too far adrift of the play-off pack to put themselves in promotion contention this season, but they could still have a big say in who goes up.
With an 11-point gap separating the Reds from the top six, attention will start to drift towards next season at the City Ground.
There are, however, still 11 games to be taken in this season – with many of those pitching them into battle with sides harbouring ambitions of gracing the Premier League in 2015/16.
The first of the top-flight chasing outfits to figure on Forest’s fixture list are Middlesbrough – the side currently setting the second-tier pace.
It could be that they are knocked from their lofty perch by the time they take to the field on Saturday, with Bournemouth in action on Friday night, but they will certainly be occupying a standing inside the top two.
That, of course, is where they intend on finishing the campaign.
Aitor Karanka’s side have been slightly inconsistent of late, as the pressure starts to build, but returned to winning ways in midweek against Millwall.
Boro’s strikers did the damage against the Lions, but a clean sheet in a welcome 3-0 victory also saw the tightest defence in the division rewarded for their efforts.
Forest, on the back of their first defeat under Dougie Freedman away at Charlton Athletic on Tuesday, will be aware of the size of the challenge facing them this weekend – and that they are winless in six against Middlesbrough – but home field advantage could work in their favour as they endeavour to end the campaign with a flourish.
- Karl Darlow
- Danny Collins
- Daniel Fox
- Jamaal Lascelles
- Eric Lichaj
- Michail Antonio
- Chris Burke
- Gary Gardner
- Henri Lansbury
- Ben Osborn
- Dexter Blackstock
“We have had a set-back, but let’s turn up on Saturday and let the fans and the players get together and see how we can come back from this. It is a simple message. It has been a great effort to win five games out of six in this division. We are looking for a response to a set-back. That happens in football.”
- Dimitrios Konstantopoulos
- Ryan Fredericks
- George Friend
- Ben Gibson
- Tomas Kalas
- Albert Adomah
- Adam Clayton
- Grant Leadbitter
- Patrick Bamford
- Lee Tomlin
“Whether we are first, second or third is not important now. The best thing is that we have one game less and three more points. After the game at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday we knew it would be difficult but their response was perfect. Now we have to recover as soon as possible because we have a very tough game at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.”
Britt Assombalonga ★★★ out Knee
Andy Reid ★★★ out Groin
Jack Hobbs ★★★ out Hamstring
Chris Cohen ★★★ out Knee
Daniel Ayala ★★★ out Muscle strain
Rhys Williams ★★★ out Achilles
Damiá ★★★ out Knee