Nottingham Forest head to Middlesbrough this weekend hoping to preserve their 8 month unbeaten away run against a Boro team yet to see ‘new manager syndrome’ have any effect on their results having lost both games since the arrival of Gordon Stachan.
The International break is over, back to real Football
Middlesbrough Team News:
Dave Kiston has arrived on loan from Stoke City & will probably make his debut in this game. Emanuel Pogatetz is back in training after suffering a similar injury to that of Lewis McGugan but this game will come to soon for him. Jeremie Aliadiere who had a decent start to the season is out until the new year with an ankle injury. Former Derby defender Chris Riggott may feature on the bench after completing 2 reserve fixtures recently & Caleb Folan is also back in training after tearing a hamstring at the bigining of October.
Player to watch: Adam Johnson
Middlesboro have only scored 22 goals this season so far with Johnson netting 8 and creating 4 more of them from a wide left position. It would seem if you stop Adam Johnson, you stop Middlesbrough.
Nottingham Forest Team News:
Forest could welcome back Robert Earnshaw to the starting line up after coming on as a sub in the last fixture, James Perch could be back on the bench after playing an hour of a reserve friendly recently. Dexter Blackstock may still miss out after suffering some ligament damage in the win over Barnsley & Nathan Tyson is set to miss the rest of the month. Julian Bennett is still a long term injury problem.
Player to watch: Robbie Earnshaw
He may start this game after coming on as a sub 2 weeks ago. He hasn’t had the best of starts to this season & if he’s going to prove his worth to the squad, he probably needs to do it before Blackstock returns.
Match Facts & Stats
Forest and Middlesbrough have met 60 times in league competition & it couldn’t be much closer with Forest taking 18 wins, Boro 17 and 25 draws with both teams scoring 86 goals each. This will be the 1st time the two teams have met in the league since Forest dropped out of the Premiership in 1999 when Boro ran out 2 – 1 winners at the City Ground. The last five games in Middlesbrough have all been drawn.
Forest are unbeaten away from home this season & are on an unbeaten run of 8 games home and away.
Boro have failed to score in 4 of their last 5 home games & the one they did score in was against Derby. They have only scored in 3 home games this season & they were against Derby, Doncaster & Ipswich who between them have registered no away wins & conceded a whopping 46 away goals.
Lee Probert of Wiltshire will take charge of this game who famously had Arsene Wenger sent off recently for kicking a bottle in an aggressive manner. He last took charge of a Forest fixture in the 1 – 1 away draw with Barnsley at Oakwell but was also the ref in the 3 – 0 away win at Manchester City in January.
He will be assisted by David Richardson of West Yorkshire and Rob Lewis of Shropshire while the 4th official will be Nigel Miller Co Durham
This one has dull, dull & more dull written all over it. Forest don’t score many and Boro can’t score at all. That probably makes it a nailed on certainty to be a nine goal thriller but I’m going to stick with a narrow 0 – 1 away win for Forest.
Saturday, 28 November 15:00
The Coca-Cola Football League Championship
Nottm Forest v Doncaster