Nottingham Forest welcome promotion favourites West Ham United to the City Ground on Sunday lunchtime, with the match also being screened live by Sky TV.
Despite their relegation from the Premiership last season, the Hammers have been fortunate to retain most of their big name players, as well as strengthening the squad with the likes of Kevin Nolan, Abdoulaye Faye and Sam Baldock. The good news for Forest fans is that midfielder Scott Parker has been omitted from the squad, due to his impending move to Spurs. The newest addition to the Hammers ranks Sam Baldock, will also be missing, as he failed to complete his move from MK Dons in time for the game.
West Ham have had an indifferent start to life in the Championship, but have done well on their travels, winning both games away at Doncaster and Watford. A weakened West Ham side were dumped out of the Carling Cup in midweek, losing 2-1 at home to Aldershot.
Forest will go into the game full of confidence, following a good performance that saw us through to the 3rd round of the Carling Cup at Wycombe. The 4-1 victory was a marked improvement on the previous game at the City Ground with Leicester, that saw us rather fortunately pull back a 2 goal deficit, to draw the game 2-2.
Nottingham Forest Team News:
Dexter Blackstock is the only member of the current squad out through injury. Moussi, Reid, Anderson, Derbyshire and McCleary, have all been given the thumbs up and are available to play.
Player to watch: Ishmael Miller
Miller scored his first goal for the Reds’ on Tuesday night at Wycombe and looks to be hungry to prove himself. It will be interesting to see if McClaren opts to play him up front on his own, or with either Derbyshire, or Findley by his side.
West Ham United Team News:
Sam Allardyce will be missing long term injury victims Peter Kurucz and Gary O’Neil. Abdoulaye Faye is out with a groin strain and Callum McNaughton is suspended after being sent off on his debut.
Player to watch: Kevin Nolan
Club captain and inspirational figure on the pitch. He scores more than his fair share of goals for a midfielder and is a key player.
Match Facts & Stats
There have been 102 league meetings between the teams, in which Forest have won 38, drawn 25 and lost 39. The last time we met each other in the league, was back in 2004, when we lost 3-2 away and won 2-1 at home.
Tough one to call, but I think we’ll still be looking for our first home win in the league after this one. 1-1.