Date: 12th September 2017 at 7:11pm
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Mark Warburton’s Nottingham Forest side face a lengthy midweek trip to take on Simon Grayson’s Sunderland in tonight’s Championship fixture.

Vital Quotes:

Mark Warburton gave his pre-match views on this fixture:

‘Sunderland know the division is tough and demanding. The gap between the top of the Championship and bottom of the Premier League is not vast at all.

Home teams can get frustrated if the opposing team is dominating and you can hear that impatience. Supporters pay their money and they can vent their frustrations but this is a tight league, their supporters will realise that and they will back their team, as will the Forest fans. Our job is to go there, keep them quiet and try to turn them against their team but we recognise the challenge they pose to us.

We have to use the squad and considering we have games on Saturday and Tuesday, there is a great demand on the Tuesday game going into the weekend. Sometimes an extra 24 hours can help and we are trying to look ahead and see what suits individual players and the squad. Right now, the priorities are the next game and we will have to put out the most appropriate team for the game to get the right result.’

Sunderland Team News:

Bryan Oviedo is expected to return to thre starting line up having sat out the weekend defeat at home to Sheffield United due to fatigue.

However, captain Lee Cattermole & Aiden McGeady will face fitness tests to determine their involvement.

Lamine Kone is regarded as doubtful after limping off at half time. Paddy McNair, Brendan Galloway and Duncan Watmore are the others sidelined with injuries.

Player to watch: Lewis Grabban

The 29 year old, £7m Bournemouth Striker joined The Black Cats on Loan this summer and he has so far bagged 3 goals in 6 appearances.

Nottingham Forest Team News:

Chris Cohen, Matty Cash, Jamie Ward and David Vaughan will all sit out this fixture due to injuries.

Given the nature of the defeat against Sheffield Wednesday, Mark Warburton is certain to ring the changes – especially, as they seek to plug the gaps in a very generous defensive unit.

Player to watch: Matt Mills

The 31 year old central defender is now is his 3rd year at Forest, having joined on a free transfer from Bolton in July 2015.

Forest need to dramatically improve defensively, so the experienced defender will be crucial to securing any rewards from a ground where they have never returned with all 3 points…. it would also be nice if we threatened from our own set pieces.

Match Facts & Stats

Sunderland have just 1 league win this season, with 3 defeats and 2 draws seeing a return of 5 points from 6 games and a total of 9 goals scored and 11 conceded. They have won both EFL Cup games.

Forest have 9 points from 6 games, won 3 & lost 3 with another 2 EFL League Cup wins. Forest have scored 14 and conceded 14.

Ref Watch:

Tonight’s Referee is Simon Hooper, his 7th game in charge this season, the previous 6 have yielded 15 yellows and 1 red card. Last season he officiated 43 games with a return of 149 yellow cards and 3 red cards.

Mr Hooper will be assisted by Philip Dermott and Mark Dwyer, with Tony Harrington as Fourth Official.

Match Prediction:

Forest have never won at The Stadium Of Light and whilst Sunderland have equally not won at home for 13 matches, they are still the Bookies favourites to break that sequence. Given the respective defensive records 0-0 appears unlikely, so I’ll hope for 1-1 and a much needed away point.

Next Fixtures:

Forest face Wolves at The City Ground on Saturday, 16th September (3-00 pm KO).