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Opposition report: Nottingham Forest

"Blues have won four of their last six league games under Lee Bowyer"

BCFC

An in-depth look at this evening's visitors to St. Andrew's...

FORM GUIDE:

Forest come into this evening’s St. Andrew’s showdown having lost 2-0 to Huddersfield Town on Saturday afternoon.

Despite the disappointing result at the City ground, the loss was Forest’s first in five games, having won two and drawing twice before their last defeat to already-promoted Norwich City in mid-March.

More broadly, it’s been a fairly disappointing season for the Reds, who come into the encounter having won 12, drawn 13 and lost 17 games across the entire Sky Bet Championship campaign.

It’s a far-cry from their efforts last season which saw them finish 7th, although they agonisingly missed out on the play-offs after a 4-1 home defeat to Stoke City on the final day.

IN THE DUGOUT:

Chris Hughton is a manager that needs little introduction to Blues fans having led the team on a famous European Tour during the 2011/12 season.

10 years on, Hughton is now a hugely experienced manager having spent a couple of years with Norwich City and serving five years as Head Coach at Brighton, whom he led to the Premier League in 2017.

As a player, Hughton played for over 13 years at White Hart Lane, making just shy of 300 appearances for Tottenham Hotspur. Spells at West Ham United and Brentford followed, before he made the switch to Spurs as a youth-team coach in 1993.

ONE TO WATCH:

It’s been a difficult season for the Reds and goals have been hard to come by at times. But a man considered a constant goal-threat in any Championship fixture is Lewis Grabban.

His campaign has been disrupted at times through injury and he didn’t play for seven weeks between the end of October and mid-December.

Four goals this season appears modest – but the strikes have all come in games Forest have won. His most recent effort came in a comfortable 3-1 win over QPR at the start of the month.

Now 33-years-old, Grabban has over 500 professional games under his belt and over 150 goals to his name.

LAST TIME OUT:

December’s Boxing Day clash between Blues and Forest finished in a 0-0 draw at the City ground.

Ryan Yates went closest for the Reds in the first-half with a fierce strike that drew a fine save from Neil Etheridge.

Blues' best effort came through Ivan Sanchez late on, his curled effort going narrowly wide.

PREVIOUS KNOCKINGS:

The two sides have met 119 times over the years – their first meeting coming all the way back in 1894 when Blues were known as Small Heath. That one finished in a 2-1 Forest win – the first of three successive victories for the Reds.

Blues’ best run of results over Forest came towards the end of the late 50’s. A first win in 1959 ended 7-1 to Blues in the old First Division, which marked a run of five straight wins in two years.

Recent form is a closely-matched affair – in the last ten fixtures, both sides have three wins, with four draws.

DID YOU KNOW?

Jermaine Jenas began his career at Nottingham Forest, before playing for Newcastle United and Spurs.

In one select Youth Team game, Jenas was joined by a certain Matt Smith. Not the now- Millwall striker but by the actor – particularly well known for playing ‘Doctor Who’.

Smith’s footballing career looked promising, but he sought an alternative path due to an ongoing back injury.

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