Mark Warburton’s Forest welcome Garry Monk’s Big Spending Boro Trentside for this weekend’s Championship clash.
Forest Manager, Mark Warburton, gave his views at the pre-match press conference:
‘Middlesbrough represent a tough test. They are a team that have made no secret of their ambition for a swift return to the Premier League, with a significant recruitment drive and good luck to them.
From our point of view we are looking forward to a good game of football; they possess good players and so do we so it should be a good fixture.
You go into every game thinking you can win and there is no lack of respect there because we know we face a very stern challenge but we also know we’re playing at The City Ground, where our record is good.
From Tuesday night, we have to take it all in, learn from it and keep on instilling in those good habits and look to deliver them on Saturday.
I hope it is a packed City Ground. The support we have received so far has been magnificent so we can look forward to that and put on a show if we can.’
Nottingham Forest Team News:
Chris Cohen, Jamie Ward & Matty Cash remain sidelined through injury, although the former 2 are expected to return to training within days not weeks.
Stephen Henderson will also hope to be involved in the first team after 7 months out with his Achilles injury.
Mark Warburton also hinted that Forest could make 2 additions to the squad shortly, but it appears unlikely that they’ll be involved this weekend, where the reds may well name an unchanged squad – which would see pre-season top scorer Apostolis Vellios again miss out.
Player to watch: David Vaughan
The 34 year old former Welsh international has featured in all 3 of Forest’s league games this season but will certainly have his work cut out this weekend, against 1 of the favourites for automatic promotion.
Vaughan has managed just 2 goals in 3 years at Forest, with his last league goal coming on 18th August 2015!
Middlesbrough Team News:
Former Reds loanee, Daniel Ayala has returned to training and could make the bench, but Danish Striker, Martin Braithwate is expected to miss out.
Patrick Bamford and Britt Assombalonga are both expected to start against their former side.
Player to watch: Rudy Gestede
The imposing 28 year old striker, joined Boro for £6m in January from Villa and has so far netted 1 in 3 appearances this term.
He managed 6 in 38 appearances last season including 1 against Forest for Villa.
Match Facts & Stats
Boro have won back to back league ganes since their opening day defeat at Wolves, scoring 3 but conceding just 1.
In contrast, Forest won their frist 2 league games and a cup game, but lost last time out against Barnsley – scoring 8 in total, but conceding 6.
Saturday’s Referee is Graham Scott – his first game in charge this season. Last season he officiated 27 games, with a return of 93 yellow cards and 5 red cards.
Mr Scott will be ably assisted by Simon Long and Derek Eaton, with Geoff Eltringham as fourth official.
Match Day referee Scott is yet to officiate a game in 2017/18.
Boro start as clear favourites, against a Forest side that have failed to keep a clean sheet since the opening day – with 2 former strikers hoping to return to haunt them.
Despite improving performances for Forest, Boro will represent their toughest test – so, a draw would appear a good result (0-0).
Forest face Newcastle in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, 23rd August (7-45 pm), followed by Leeds at The City Ground on Saturday, 26th August (5-30pm KO).