Hopefully, Forest will play their first game in a fortnight, due to the recent bad weather when they welcome Crystal Palace to the City Ground on Saturday.
The game will begin with the players wearing black arm bands and holding a minutes silence in remembrance of former goalkeeper Dale Roberts, who died so tragically on Wednesday at the tender age of 24.
Palace will arrive on the back of a 0-0 draw with Hull last weekend and sitting 3rd from bottom in the Championship table. Manager George Burley has found it tough going, since taking the reigns at the London club in June, following his departure from managing Scotland. At least the Eagles can look forward to a slightly more secure future, now that their financial woes are behind them.
Although our very own Julian Bennett is on loan with Palace, we inserted a clause in his loan deal that said he couldn’t play against us. It’s debatable whether or not the enforced break will have been of benefit or a hindrance to Billy Davies in his preparations, but it will have at least given some of the walking wounded a little more time to recover. We have 2 games in hand over most of the teams in the division, but I’d rather have the points on the board. The good news is the at home fans will get their first glimpse of Aaron Ramsey in the Garibaldi and he should be available to start. It will also be interesting to see if our other loan signing, Marcus Tudgay will get on the team sheet.
Nottingham Forest Team News:
Paul McKenna has missed the last four games with a groin problem and will have a late fitness test before deciding on him. Dele Adebola, who picked up a knee injury against Leicester will also be left until as late as possible before making a decision. Dexter Blackstock and David McGoldrick (both knee injuries) and goalkeeper Karl Darlow (shoulder) remain are definitely out.
Player to watch: Aaron Ramsey
He’s only managed 29 minutes for the Reds’ since joining us on loan from Arsenal. Let’s hope we get to see what all the fuss is about.
Crystal Palace Team News:
Former Forest target Darren Ambrose, could be available, after missing last Saturday’s game against Hull with a dead leg. He’s just recovered from a season-long knee injury.
Player to watch: Darren Ambrose
The midfield playmaker was a Forest target last season and he can score goals. Despite being out for most of this campaign so far, he’s still managed to bag 4 and will have to be watched.
Match Facts & Stats
The current form guide would have this as a home banker and so would the stats from previous meetings. In 44 league games between the 2 teams, Forest have won 20, drawn 12 and lost 12. Last season we managed a 2-0 home win and a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park.
3-1 to the Reds’!
Boro v Forest (a). 26/12/2010 KO:3pm