Aitor Karanka`s Nottingham Forest travel to Carrow Road to face Daniel Farke`s Norwich City in Tuesday`s Championship match.
Forest`s Manager, Aitor Karanka, gave his pre-match views at Monday`s press conference:
“It it is a long journey to Norwich and this will be another tough game, even more so because we played on Saturday and they didn’t. They have had more time to rest, but we are in a good run, four games unbeaten, but we have to keep going – it is better to play as many games as possible to take advantage of our form and we are really positive about the game.
It is good motivation, like when we went to QPR, they were above us and we passed them. It is a good chance to keep improving, to keep adding points and to keep going up in the table.’
We still have to realise the mistakes we are making because if you want to win games, you can’t make mistakes but what is happening with the team, you feel they are confident on the pitch and when we have the ball we have good players to play well. When we don’t have it, we are compact and the players know what they have to do.”
Norwich City Team News:
Daniel Farke is expected to call upon the services of the fit again pair of Timm Klose and skipper Ivo pinto, but Christoph Zimmermann remains a doubt after missing training for a ‘private situation’.
Marco Stiepermann, Marcus Edwards and Matt Jarvis are also nearing a return but Tom Trybull and Louis Thompson remain long term absentees.
Player to watch: James Maddison
The 21 year old attacking midfielder is top scorer for the Canaries with 10 goals in 37 appearances, but he has contributed 7 assists towards the cause.
Former Forest loanee, Nelson Oliveira is also worthy of consideration, with 8 goals in 31 appearances for City.
Nottingham Forest Team News:
Jack Hobbs featured for Forest under 23`s on Monday as he continues his recovery, but Chris Cohen, David Vaughan & Ashkan Dejagah remain sidelined by injury.
Eric Lichaj is available after serving his 3 game ban and former Tractor Boy, Daryl Murphy will be keen to feature after netting the only goal of the game in the reverse fixture.
With Norwich not in action this weekend and the East Midlands Derby looming will Aitor be tempted to freshen up the side or stick with the side earned 3 points against Birmingham?
Player to watch: Danny Fox
In over 4 years at Forest, it`s fair to say that the 31 year old defender divides opinion amongst Forest fans, but he has certainly performed better recently in his own preferred position of Centre Back.
Tuesday`s game is arguably the toughest test of the new central defensive partnership with Tobias Figueiredo and whilst a clean sheet is unlikely, we can but hope!
Match Facts & Stats
A run of four consecutive draws for Daniel Farke`s Canaries has seen them slip into 14th position – 10 points off the play offs, with 47 points from 34 games (w12, d11, l11) with 34 goals for and 37 against.
City do have a game in hand over 6th placed Bristol City and have lost just once in 11 league games, winning 5 and drawing 5 – so, this does represent a much sterner test for the Reds.
Forest finally managed to secure their first home win since Aitor Karanka was appointed and notably back to back league wins for the first time since late October.
The Reds remain 15th in the Championship table, with 43 points from 35 games (w13, d4, l18), scoring 43 but conceding 54 – however, a run of 4 games without defeat and just 1 away defeat in their last 6 games has seen them solidify that mid table position.
Darren England has been appointed as Tuesday`s Referee, which will be his 31st game in charge this season, the previous 30 have seen him award 113 yellow and 2 red cards. Last season he officiated 42 games, with a return of 121 yellows and 9 red cards.
Mr England will be assisted Darren Blunden and Neil Davies, with Craig Hicks as Fourth Official.
Given that Forest have not won at Carrow Road since December 2008, which includes losing their last 3 visits there, the Bookies understandably have Norwich as firm favourites for a home win.
In such circumstances, securing an away point would represent a good return for Forest against a side that are regarded as having underperformed this season but the extra rest may well see Norwich seal a home win – I`d prefer 1-1.
Aitor Karanka`s Forest welcome Gary Rowett`s Rams to The City Ground on Sunday, 11th March (KO 2-30pm).