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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

21 April 2018 Venue Cardiff City Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

Preview: Cardiff (A)

20 April 2018

It's a Saturday night under the lights for Nottingham Forest as they face Cardiff City in front of the Sky Sports cameras tomorrow (kick-off 7.45pm).

The Reds are in buoyant mood having turned the tables on Ipswich Town last weekend, coming from behind to snatch all three points in injury time, and they will be hoping to carry that on in South Wales.

Aitor Karanka's men are all-but safe from relegation and he will be keen to show what Forest can do against one of the league's top teams. 

Cardiff have stuttered in recent weeks as their promotion tilt reaches its climax. Defeats against Wolves and Aston Villa in recent weeks have allowed Fulham to move into the mix for the top two in the Championship and Neil Warnock will be keen to avoid another slip up tomorrow night.

See below for the pre-match views from the Forest camp.

Team news

Daryl Murphy is back in contention for Forest having returned to training this week and the experienced striker could be involved. Lee Tomlin is a certain absentee though as he is ineligible to feature against his parent club.

David Vaughan remains sidelined while Karanka has admitted there are question marks over Joe Worrall and Costel Pantilimon.

From the opposition

Neil Warnock knows that Nottingham Forest pose a big test for his Cardiff side on Saturday night as the Championship season draws to a close.

The Bluebirds boss is keen to put aside their disappointing results against promotion rivals recently to get back on track.

He said: "Well we should have beaten Villa and had a point against Wolves, so we should have had four points and be celebrating now. But we haven't got that so we hard hard anyone. We know the Forest game, Sunderland at Fulham... they won't be straightforward games. There aren't any in the Championship.

"Karanka is turning it round now, I like him as a manager. He will want to have a good finish to the season and plan for the start of next. We were in that situation, planning for next season and looking at one or two lads. Karanka gets his defence sorted first and foremost, but we're the same."

One to watch - Junior Hoilett

The Canadian international has been a consistent figure for Cardiff City this season as they seek promotion to the Premier League.

A recent goal drought for the forward was ended as he hit the second goal in the win against Norwich City last weekend and he will be keen to help fire The Bluebirds to promotion.

Last time out


Tickets are no longer available via the Nottingham Forest ticket office, but Cardiff have confirmed that there will be a cash-only facility for supporters to buy tickets on arrival at the Cardiff City Stadium. 

Full details can be found here.


Due to the game being broadcast live on Sky Sports, there will be no live feed of the game for international subscribers to iFollow Forest. There will be audio commentary, however.

There will also be full coverage via the club's official social media channels and in the Match Centre.

Other fixtures

All fixtures to be played at 3pm on Saturday unless otherwise stated:

Millwall v Fulham (Friday, 7.45pm)
Birmingham v Sheffield United
Bolton v Wolves
Brentford v QPR
Bristol City v Hull
Derby v Middlesbrough
Ipswich v Aston Villa
Leeds v Barnsley
Preston v Norwich
Sheffield Wednesday v Reading
Sunderland v Burton

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Match Reports

Cardiff 2-1 Forest

21 April 2018

Liam Bridcutt's first goal for the club was in vain as Nottingham Forest fell to a 2-1 defeat against Cardiff City this evening.

In an evenly-contested match, Bridcutt's second-half leveller had looked like giving Forest a deserved point in South Wales but an Aaron Gunnarsson strike with 15 minutes to go proved decisive.

Sean Morrison's header gave The Bluebirds a half-time lead but there will be plenty of positives for Aitor Karanka to take from the game heading into the final few games of the season.

There were four changes to the Forest starting line-up with Stefanos Kapino replacing Costel Pantilimon in goal for his debut, while Eric Lichaj, Bridcutt and Matty Cash also came into the side.

The Reds should have taken the lead on nine minutes as Joe Lolley and Cash linked up well in the Cardiff half, with the latter allowing the ball to run through for the former who charged into the area but saw his right-footed strike drift over the bar.

The home side responded with a half-chance of their own on 12 minutes though as captain Morrison rose highest from a corner but a Forest body got in the way of his header, allowing debutant Kapino to gather on the goalline.

Opportunities continued to fall Forest's way though, as Ben Brereton was denied by a fine block by Morrison, then Tobias Figueiredo – fresh from agreeing to join the club permanently in the summer – saw a volley from a corner blocked as The Reds showed plenty of attacking intent.

A glorious chance came for Karanka's men on 23 as Lolley again led the charge, breaking through the middle and finding Bridcutt on the right of the penalty area, but the midfield-man's touch let him down and allowed goalkeeper Neil Etheridge to smother the ball.

Forest were made to pay for those missed chances though as on 35 minutes as Cardiff took the lead. Joe Ralls' delivery into the box from a corner was inviting for Morrison who towered above everyone at the back post to power a header into the net.

There was a good response to going behind from Forest as Lichaj's early delivery into the box was volleyed goalwards by Jack Colback, but it was straight down the throat of Etheridge.

The home side came within a whisker of doubling their lead straight after the restart as Kenneth Zohore raced through on goal and dinked an effort over the onrushing Kapino. The ball hit the inside of the post and bounced on the line as Danny Fox heroically cleared it, with the expectant crowd awaiting the verdict of the goalline technology which ruled no goal.

There was no doubt just minutes later as Bridcutt hit the back of the net to draw Forest level. Superb build-up play saw Brereton tee up Lolley in the middle of the park, his raking pass finding Ben Osborn charging down the left and he squared it for Bridcutt to volley side-footed past Etheridge for his first goal for the club.

The game was evenly poised, with Forest looking threatening on the counter attack but Cardiff probing for a way through to keep their automatic promotion hopes alive.

The Bluebirds found their breakthrough with 15 minutes to go and it was another set piece which proved costly for The Reds. Junior Hoilett's deep delivery to the back post was headed back across goal by substitute Sol Bamba and Gunnarsson was there to fire home from close range.

Despite his good work to set up their second goal, Bamba almost gifted Forest an equaliser as his wayward pass landed straight at the feet of Osborn who drove at goal on the left. He tried to square for sub Apostolos Vellios who could only tee up Jack Colback for a blocked shot. The second phase then saw Osborn deliver to the back post for Cash but he lost the flight of the ball and the chance fizzled out.

Forest pushed to find the leveller late on but couldn't break down the resolute Cardiff rearguard as the home side held on for three vital points.

Forest: Kapino, Lichaj, Figueiredo (Mancienne 60'), Fox, Osborn, Watson (c), Colback, Bridcutt (Guedioura 71'), Cash, Lolley (Vellios 81'), Brereton

Unused subs: Smith, Dowell, Darikwa, Bouchalakis

Goal: Bridcutt 50'

Bookings: Mancienne 73', Watson 73', Colback 90'

Cardiff: Etheridge, Peltier (Bamba 46'), Morrison (c), Ecuele Manga, Bennett, Ralls, Gunnarsson, Bryson (Paterson 86'), Mendez-Laing (Wilsdchut 71'), Hoilett, Zohore

Unused subs: Murphy, Pilkington, Grujic, Madine

Goals: Morrison 35', Gunnarsson 74'

Referee: Peter Bankes

Attendance: 21,310 (593 away)

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