Aitor Karanka`s Nottingham Forest welcome Nigel Adkins` Hull City Trentside for this afternoon`s Championship fixture.
Forest Manager, Aitor Karanka, gave his views ahead of today`s fixture at Thursday`s pre match press conference:
‘Saturday is a good game to go again together because even without winning games I feel the fans’ support and the new players want to feel that support when they are playing at home.
I want to have 11 or 14 players fighting like the way we were at Wolves and Fulham. Now it is time do it at home because our crowd deserves it; we need to bring the crowd with us because they are really important to us.
There was a change on the pitch in the last game; everyone could see that the intensity was different, the commitment was different and the experience was different and I am really pleased. This is a tough game; but we need to try and get the crowds confidence back and I think they deserve a good performance.’
Nottingham Forest Team News:
Liam Bridcutt, Jack Hobbs and Chris Cohen remain absent with injury.
Daryl Murphy is fit and will be hoping for his first start under Aitor Karanka, but with 10 new arrivals and terrible form – competition for places will be fierce and predicting today`s line up is beyond me!
Player to watch: Aitor Karanka
The Spaniard has just 1 win in 5 games since his appointment and needs to get his new look Forest side to tighten up defensively whilst also finding a league goal from somewhere.
Karanka has shown how ruthless he can be with his transfer dealings, he now needs to get his team to win some points – over to you Aitor!!
Hull City Team News:
Nigel Adkins has already confirmed that Michael Dawson will not face the club he was poised to join on deadline day.
James Weir, Ondrej Mazuch, Abel Hernandez, Moses Odubajo, Markus Henriksen and Kamil Grosicki are also absent, whilst Ryan Mason and Stephen Kingsley could be involved in the 18.
Player to watch: Jarrod Boewn
The 21 year old forward is top scorer for the Tigers, with 13 in 31 appearances – which include goals in both games against Forest this season – so, hopefully Karanka will have done his homework and see him suitably shackled.
Match Facts & Stats
Forest have now slipped to 16th in the Championship with 35 points from 30 games (w11, d2, l17), scoring 35 but conceding 48. Forest have lost their last 3 games and have just 1 win in 9 League games, with 4 consecutive home defeats – without scoring, so Aitor needs to turn the tide to prevent Forest getting dragged into another relegation fight.
Hull are 22nd in the table with 26 points from 30 games (w5, d11, l14), 40 scored and 47 conceded. The Tigers have not won a league game in their last 9 attempts and only The FA Cup provides respite for Adkins`s side.
Oliver Langford has been appointed as today`s Referee, which will be his 29th game in charge this season, the previous 28 have yielded 89 yellow and 3 red cards. Last season he officiated 44 games, brandishing 129 yellows and 5 red cards.
Mr Langford will be ably assisted by James Wilson and Robert Merchant, with Tom Nield as the Fourth Official.
David Prutton believes this game will end 1-1, whilst the Bookies has Forest 11/8 for a home win.
With 10 new additions since Hull defeated Forest in the FA Cup just 2 weeks ago, it could be an almost completely different line up and with the Tigers fighting for Championship survival it`s unlikely to be an open game – so, with 2 out of form teams, Prutton`s prediction seems fair, although – I`m clearly hoping for a home win.
Forest face a trip to the Pirelli Stadium to face Nigel Clough`s Burton Albion on Saturday, 17th February KO 3-00pm.