Mark Warburton’s Nottingham Forest make the trip to East Anglia to take on Mick McCarthy`s Ipswich Town in this afternoon`s Championship fixture.
Mark Warburton, gave his customary pre-match thoughts at Friday`s press conference:
“Ipswich are a team high in confidence, after a great result away at Derby, where they got the early goal, then defended fantastically and showing real resilience – it actually reminded me of the Birmingham game we had recently.
We have no doubt about the quality they possess, all over the park, especially with two players we know very well in Waghorn and Garner from our time at Rangers. They have a real team ethic, are well organised and they are a Mick McCarthy team so we know what we face.’
Ipswich Town Team News:
Former Forest players, Luke Chambers (suspended) and David McGoldrick will both miss the weekend clash, the former due to suspension and the latter following surgery to a groin injury. Joe Garner is also struggling with a foot injury, but there is a fairly high chance that he will be able to play.
The Tractor Boys will also be unable to call upon Flynn Downes (suspended), as well the injured trio of Tom Adeyemi, Luke Hyam and Andre Dozzell – however, Tommy Smith is hoping to have shaken off a calf injury allowing him to deputise at centre half for Luke Chambers.
Player to watch: Martyn Waghorn
The 27 year old former Leicester striker, joined Ipswich this summer for an undisclosed fee from Rangers – where he was signed by Mark Warburton.
Waghorn has formed a formidable partnership f=with former Forest striker, Joe Garner and has am impressive 9 goals in 19 appearances this season.
Nottingham Forest Team News:
Jack Hobbs, Tendayi Darikwa, Danny Fox and Chris Cohen remain absent due to injury – although, Liam Bridcutt is available after serving his one game suspension.
Mustapha Carayol is pushing for a starting spot, possibly at the expense of Barry McKay, whilst Tyler Walker could return to the bench with Bridcutt starting.
Player to watch: Daryl Murphy
The 34 year old Irish International striker returns to his former club for only the 2nd time, where he scored almost 70 goals in over 200 appearances.
He has scored 7 in 17 appearances for Forest this season, but did score at Portman Road last season for Newcastle United – so, let`s hope he repeats that feat.
Match Facts & Stats
Ipswich are 9th in the table, with 29 points from 19 games (w9, d2, l8) scoring an impressive 31 and conceding 28.
The Tractor Boys have won 2, drawn 2 & lost 2 of their last 6 games – which sees them in a similar vein as their inconsistent opponents, but they always seem capable of scoring.
Forest were second best to a well drilled Cardiff last weekend, losing 0-2 in a game where they were frustrated and largely out-muscled. The reds are one place lower with 10th in the Championship Table, accruing 27 points from 19 games (w9, d0, l10).
Forest have won 3 and lost 3 of their last 6 games, so far they have scored 26 and conceded 29, so the defence will yet again have their work cut out against high scoring Town.
Darren Bond has been appointed as this afternoon`s Referee, his 19th game in charge this season, the previous 18 games have produced 60 yellows and just 1 red card. Last season officiated 40 games, with a return of 117 yellows and 6 red cards.
Mr Bond will be ably assisted by Robert Hyde and Michael George, with Trevor Kettle as Fourth Official.
Forest are the first team in the second tier of English football to have not drawn any of their first 19 league games in a season since Stoke City in 1955-56 and that probably lends itself to the Bookies favouring a home win.
Given the scoring/defensive records of both sides 0-0 would seem highly unlikely, but could today be Forest`s first draw in 20 attempts (1-1 for me!).
Bolton Wanderers are the next visitors to the City Ground on Saturday, 9th December, 3-00pm.